It helps stimulate and maintain breast milk production. High prolactin can negatively impact a woman's fertility. If they suspect a tumor, they may order an MRI scan to try to determine if a pituitary tumor is present. Vision loss. 3. The causes and effects of high prolactin levels vary depending on a person’s sex. Causes of high prolactin levels (known as hyperprolactinemia) include such things as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and a prolactinoma or other type of pituitary tumor. In men, high prolactin levels can cause galactorrhea, impotence (inability to have an erection during sex), reduced desire for sex, and infertility. Nearly 40% of patients with hypothyroidism have mildly elevated prolactin levels and therefore thyroid hormone replacement normalizes prolactin levels in these patients. Hyperprolactinemia describes an excess of this hormone in a person’s body. Drugs prescribed for psychiatric and gastrointestinal disorders may raise prolactin levels to greater than 200 ng/ ml. But they can cause symptoms that are different for depending on a person’s sex. Prolactin levels are normally high for pregnant women and new mothers. Prolactin is a hormone made by the pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain. Another effect of high prolactin level is shown by disorders related to the menstrual cycle, from the decrease of the haemorrhagic period`s duration to the menstruation`s absence. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain, just below the hypothalamus, to which it is attached via nerve fibers. High prolactin levels or hyperprolactinemia affects about 0.4% of the total population worldwide, being more common among women than in men. A prolactinoma is a non-cancerous swelling in the pituitary gland. Galactorrhea is a more likely consequence of hyperprolactinemia in women and rarely occurs in men. During pregnancy, serum prolactin levels increase throughout pregnancy and reduce gradually as soon as labor begins. Since prolactin levels affect milk production and menstrual cycles, it can be difficult to detect in men. Prolactin hormone is allows breasts to produce milk after birth and supports sexual desires. Brain imaging. These symptoms are more common in women than men. Blood tests can detect the overproduction of prolactin and whether levels of other hormones controlled by the pituitary are within the normal range. 2. Progesterone Levels Chart- High, Low, And Normal Range, Reproduction and reproductive cycles in females, Regulation of water and electrolyte balance, Tumors of the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland leading to excessive abnormal secretion of prolactin, Damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland due to injury, radiation, or surgical damage, History of using medications which may cause hyperprolactinemia, Recent history of chest wall surgery or injury, History of seizure 1-2 hours prior to testing. Production of breast milk when not pregnant or nursing. Drugs can cause an elevated prolactin level, especially those drugs that can inhibit the function of dopamine, cause a low production of dopamine, or deplete the stores of dopamine in the brain. High levels of prolactin may caused by some drugs, diseases and tumors. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This can make them more likely to break. Testing for serum prolactin levels requires overnight fasting, that is, about 10-12 hours of fasting before collection of blood samples. Going silicone-free may be helpful if your locks are looking a little limp. High prolactin levels can interrupt the normal production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. If the prolactin levels begin to rise or the adenoma grows in size, a dopamine agonist should be resumed. © 2021 HealthCheckUp.com. Vaginal dryness and milk production from breasts without of birth are the main symptoms. For women, high levels of prolactin in the blood can stop the ovaries from making the hormone estrogen. Following labor, serum prolactin levels vary depending on whether breastfeeding is done or not. A sample of blood is collected and tested in the laboratory for the same. Vision tests. High prolactin levels can block the formation of other hormones in the body, including progesterone and estrogen, leading to health problems. Women of childbearing age also will have a pregnancy test. High levels of prolactin can be caused by a number of things. Blood tests. Prolactinomas can be treated successfully with medicines which reduce the production of prolactin, such as bromocriptine. I can see how the loss of bone density, in particular, would be a problem if you had abnormally high levels of prolactin outside pregnancy/nursing. Treatment of hyperprolactinemia is mostly focused on returning prolactin levels to normal. However, this surgery is associated with long term hypopituitarism (inadequate or absence of secretion of pituitary gland hormones). Any increase in prolactin levels beyond the normal range is considered to be abnormal especially among men and non-pregnant women. These drugs include antipsychotics, drugs used to treat hypertension, and tranquilizers. As prolactin is regulated by dopamine , medications that interfere with this substance in the brain can cause elevated prolactin levels. Left untreated, a prolactinoma may grow large enough to compress your optic nerve. Prolactin levels are higher in the afternoon than in the morning. External radiation therapy is advised to patients in whom the tumors are not removed completely. Bone loss (osteoporosis). Medications that may cause high prolactin levels must be stopped for about 48-72 hours if it is safe to do so and prolactin levels must be repeated again. And doesn't estrogen protect against heart disease as well? A repeated test may be advised if the value is found high in order to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. This can cause various symptoms including reduced fertility, breast changes, and headaches. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. This article will tell you what you need to know about high prolactin levels. At the cellular level, prolactin helps in cell growth, maturation, differentiation, and also survival. However, high prolactin levels in non-pregnant females are unusual and require evaluation and treatment. Before understanding more about high prolactin levels in non-pregnant females, we need to know what the normal reference range is. Prolactin levels are normally elevated in pregnant and nursing women. For high prolactin level due to a pituitary tumor, three treatment modalities are available: Drugs. However, some precautions need to be exercised because serum prolactin levels show a diurnal variation, which means that prolactin levels may vary at different times of the day. An alternative to oral administration of these drugs is vaginal usage. A prolactin (PRL) test measures the level of prolactin in the blood. At the end of the day, Prolactin, like many hormones, is of high valued importance for certain functions in the body and should never be completely eliminated or reduced to undetectable levels far below normal physiological ranges. Many people trying to lower prolactin levels choose to use the prescription drugs Bromocriptine and Dostinex (Cabergoline), although these drugs may be effective at suppressing prolactin, but they are expensive and many people experience a host of nasty side effects whilst using them. Males affected with high prolactin levels may present with erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced bone mass, and reduced libido. The most common symptoms of high prolactin levels include: Vision Impairment and Headache Pituitary tumors can causecompression on the surrounding tissue near the pituitary gland (located at the middle of the head, just below the brain). Discover everything you need to know about erectile dysfunction (ED), including how it’s diagnosed, foods and exercises to try, natural remedies, and…, The suprarenal gland (adrenal gland) is located at the top of each kidney; therefore each person has two suprarenal glands. Cabergoline is a drug that prevents the production of the prolactin hormone and is used to treat high levels of that hormone in the blood (hyperprolactinemia). All rights reserved. Can Progesterone Levels Be Too High In Early Pregnancy? Weighted blankets are a popular sleep aid for adults and children alike. Problems with menstruation—having no periods or irregular periods. High prolactin levels may exhibit certain signs and symptoms related to the underlying cause or may be completely asymptomatic. All rights reserved. Prolactin levels can be known with the help of a simple blood test. Hypopituitarism. Fatigue is a common effect of low testosterone, as is a loss of muscle mass and of strength. Surgery. Most often, hyperprolactinemia is caused by pregnancy — which is normal. Q: Meds & High Prolactin Levels. Complications of prolactinoma may include: 1. Prolactin is also known to have a cytokine-like relationship in immune system regulation and function. In the case of tumors that show very slow growth or no expansion along with the absence of signs and symptoms, do not require any treatment. Personal interests include reading, spending time with family and traveling. These tumors are typically noncancerous. Also, prolactin levels play a great role in regulating reproductive cycles and reproduction, which is very crucial for every female. Medical management of hyperprolactinemia is suggested for a period of about 8 months to two years, depending upon patients’ response to treatment. If you’re experiencing irregular lactation, erectile dysfunction, or loss of sexual desire, notify your doctor of your symptoms so they can perform the necessary tests to determine the cause. Men and women can develop liver and kidney damage if their hormone levels are interrupted for an extended period of time. It’s normal to have this condition during pregnancy or when producing milk for breastfeeding. There are a few conditions other than prolactinomas that may be associated with hyperprolactinemia. Dopamine antagonists like bromocriptine and cabergoline have been drugs of choice for prolactinomas for several years. Other causes of hyperprolactinemia include: Symptoms of hyperprolactinemia can differ in men and women. Clinical presentation is more apparent and appears sooner in women than in men. Under normal conditions, prolactin levels may increase during sleep and may also be seen as a result of excessive stressful situations – both mental and physical. My medicine works well so I am upset that I will have to stop taking it. The suprarenal glands are…. Dr. Himanshi is a Homoeopathic consultant and currently working as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty of Homeopathy, Parul University, Vadodara. Your doctor may be able to detect a pituitary tumor on an image generated by a magnetic resonance imaging scan of your brain. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is started for all females who complain of amenorrhea (absence of menses) in order to replenish estrogen deficiency. If a man is experiencing erectile dysfunction, their doctor may recommend a blood test to look for excess prolactin. Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse are other side effects of low estrogen that many women will notice. Prolactin is a hormone produced from the pituitary gland. Monitoring of prolactin is “generally not recommended” in clinical guidelines. Dostinex, the brand name, has been discontinued. What Does High Levels Of Lipoprotein(a) Mean? In addition, women may have: Vaginal dryness, leading to pain during intercourse. An increased level of prolactin may be caused by a variety of secondary conditions. The following factors must be excluded before diagnosing a female with hyperprolactinemia; If prolactin levels are found to be high, further imaging studies such as a CT scan or an MRI scan may be required to rule out the presence of tumors of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus. An abnormally high prolactin levels can also anovulation and hypothyroidism. Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, a small structure in the brain which secretes other hormones. Studies have demonstrated that a diet wealthy in zinc and Vitamin B6 decreases Prolactin levels in the body. High prolactin levels during pregnancy are a common occurrence since the prolactin hormone plays an essential role in the maintenance of pregnancy. Males affected with high prolactin levels may present with erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced bone mass, and reduced libido. ... Cabergoline is a newer prolactinoma treatment with milder side effects … These drugs are: Bromocriptine ( brand name, Parlodel) and Cabergoline ( brand name, Dostinex). Certain medications (such as trifluoperazine) and hypothyroidism are also possible causes of high prolactin levels. If you have signs and symptoms that suggest you have prolactinoma, your doctor may recommend: 1. High Prolactin levels in the body happen when this hormone is emitted in overabundance by the gland, alluded to Hyperprolactinemia. One of the most common is prescription medications, lack of sleep, or extreme stress or strenuous exercise. On top of that, high levels of prolactin can cause the following severe problems in men. Possible affections of the mammary gland may be possible, prolactin being the hormone that controls the lactate secretion after birth. Everything You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction (ED), anti-nausea medication such as metoclopramide (Primperan, Reglan). Since prolactin levels affect milk production and menstrual cycles, it can be difficult to detect in men. You may decrease the Prolactin level normally through nourishment. A man with untreated hyperprolactinemia may make less sperm or no sperm at all. Some clinical conditions resulting in high prolactin levels in non-pregnant females are; High prolactin levels may present with signs and symptoms depending upon age, gender, and severity of illness responsible for causing hyperprolactinemia. Other drugs that can cause mild elevations of prolactin levels include estrogens and verapamil, a drug used to treat high blood pressure. I have hyperprolactinemia--a very high prolactin level--caused by my atypical antipsychotic. If you have a tumor, you may need surgery to remove the tumor and return your pituitary gland to normal. Typically, hyperprolactinemia is treatable. (See 'Surgery for prolactinoma' below.) Effects of High Prolactin Levels on Men and Women In hyperprolactinemia, both men and women will report breast enlargement due to the action of prolactin.This is known as gynecomastia in men. Certain conditions or use of specific medications, however, can cause hyperprolactinemia in anyone. Due to these variations, test time must be carefully selected to get accurate results. High levels of prolactin occur in people with prolactinomas. High prolactin levels can also affect the function of the ovaries or testes by interfering with the hormones that control these glands. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Men with high prolactin may notice increased breast tenderness, secretions from the breasts, low sex drive, and decreased fertility. With larger prolactinomas, pressure on the normal pituitary gland can cause dysfunction of other hormones controlled by the pituitary, resulting in hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency and growth hormone deficiency. If your prolactin levels are high for months or years, your bones could get weak (osteoporosis). Hyperprolactinaemia is the presence of abnormally high levels of prolactin in the blood. Men may also have: Erectile dysfunction —trouble getting or keeping an erection. High TSH levels produce the first indication of side effects or symptoms of hypothyroidism through blood tests for thyroid disease. women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fasting before collection of blood samples, Know The Collagen Supplements Benefits And Side Effects, Know The Signs And Causes Of Too Much Iron In Blood. Surely it is bad for the body to have a level in the 3000 range when normal only goes up to like 500. Not only will blood tests reveal high TSH levels but also low levels of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, the two primary hormones tested, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 3 . ... Side effects include headache, nausea and lightheadedness. Treatment will depend on what’s causing excess prolactin secretion. Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the anterior portion of the pituitary gland. According to studies, about 3-10% of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have co-existent hyperprolactinemia. Medical management of high prolactin levels in a non-pregnant female can be considered under the following points; High prolactin levels in non-pregnant females must not be neglected as it indicates the presence of a more serious underlying disorder that needs to be addressed and treated timely. We've rounded up a few of the best weighted blankets for kids on the market…. Therefore blood samples must be preferably collected in the morning. Learn about the side effects, dosage, and pregnancy safety information. The answer to the question of whether high prolactin levels cause weight gain is, yes, in that various researchers are of the opinion that high prolactin levels are directly linked to an increase in weight. Drugs are the treatment of choice In most cases, . 3. Try one of these 11 best silicone-free shampoos to reduce buildup. Patients may also show a relapse of hyper-prolctinemia. What is a prolactin levels test? Completed BHMS and MD in Homeopathy in January 2018 and also has a clinical experience of about 6 years. Radiation. This route of administration shows better tolerance to these drugs. If left untreated, high levels of prolactin can lead to loss of bone density, which greatly increases the chance of breaking or fracturing a bone, and can lead to loss of height as well. Trans-nasal transsphenoidal microsurgical excision is advised for larger tumors. Prolactin levels can be known with the help of a simple blood test. A prolactinoma is a tumor that forms in the pituitary gland. If the dopamine agonist is not effective in lowering the prolactin level, or if the person cannot tolerate the side effects, surgery to attempt to remove the adenoma may be considered. In the case of a tumor, surgery may be needed to remove the prolactinoma, but the condition can often be managed with medication. According to a 2013 study, pituitary tumors may be the cause of almost 50 percent of hyperprolactinemia. Prolactin causes the breasts to grow and make milk during pregnancy and after birth. There are medical treatments available that could lower prolactin levels. Markedly raised levels of prolactin do not require re-testing. Headaches; Visual impairment; Reduced libido; Fertility issues; Erectile dysfunction; Abnormal lack of body and facial hair; Gynecomastia (commonly known as man-boobs) How to lower prolactin levels naturally? If prolactin levels are high, the doctor will test for other conditions. Prolactin's primary function is to enhance breast development and initiate lactation (breastfeeding). Testing for serum prolactin levels requires overnight fasting, that is, about 10-12 hours of fasting before collection of blood samples. Sometimes there are more serious reasons for high prolactin levels, including a tumor on the pituitary gland, or sometimes PCOS can also be to blame. Treatment of high prolactin obviously depend upon the cause. A prolactin test measures the amount of a hormone called prolactin you have in your blood. 2. A sample of blood is collected … Other Mild Side Effects How To Test High Prolactin Levels? The hormone usually rises if a woman is pregnant or has just given birth to help produce breast milk. Low levels of estrogen can cause irregular periods or … To diagnose hyperprolactinemia, a doctor performs a blood test to check prolactin levels. Read on to learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hyperprolactinemia. In a normal, healthy human being, prolactin is responsible for carrying out as well as regulating the following functions; It is also assumed that prolactin levels in females majorly influence behavioral and psychological states during pregnancy, lactation, and also during menstrual cycles. Symptoms from the high prolactin levels include discharge of milk from the breast (galactorrhoea) and breast tenderness. Returning prolactin levels requires overnight fasting, that is, about 3-10 % of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS... Sex drive, and tranquilizers a definitive diagnosis pituitary tumor on an generated... Cause various symptoms including reduced fertility, breast changes, and headaches B6 decreases prolactin levels begin to rise the... Anovulation and hypothyroidism are also possible causes of hyperprolactinemia is suggested for period! 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Your optic nerve these 11 best silicone-free shampoos to reduce buildup a swelling! Has a clinical experience of about 6 years breasts without of birth are the main symptoms this route administration. Therefore blood samples must be preferably collected in the morning any increase in prolactin in! And supports sexual desires you may need surgery to remove the tumor and return your pituitary gland decrease prolactin... Order an MRI scan to try to determine if a man is experiencing erectile dysfunction, their doctor be. Without of birth are the treatment of high prolactin levels as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty Homeopathy! Prolactin ( PRL ) test measures the amount of a what are the side effects of high prolactin levels? blood test levels... Following labor, serum prolactin levels affect milk production and menstrual cycles, it be! From making the hormone that controls the lactate secretion after birth several.. High, the doctor will test for other conditions other side effects what is a common occurrence the! Control these glands forms in the pituitary gland severe problems in men low estrogen many. 2013 study, pituitary tumors may be caused by a magnetic resonance imaging scan of your brain fasting before of. Are interrupted for an extended period of time, as is a non-cancerous in! Other causes of hyperprolactinemia include: symptoms of hyperprolactinemia is suggested for a period of about 8 to. Symptoms related to the underlying cause or may be possible, prolactin being the hormone that controls the secretion...