Hormones are important elements that enable our body to perform its basic functions. Excessive or less secretion of hormones can cause serious health problems. & Nbsp; Prolactin is one of these hormones. & Nbsp; High prolactin hormone in the blood is called & hyperprolactinemia
Excessive secretion of this hormone may cause complaints such as menstrual irregularity in women, milk coming from the breasts even though there is no baby, and inability to become pregnant.
High prolactin, which is an important health problem, should be treated under the supervision of a specialist.
What is Prolactin?
Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland at the back of our brain. It is also called milk hormone or stress hormone. & Nbsp; The main function of this hormone in the body is to ensure milk production in women after childbirth. It is not known exactly what function it has in men.
From the second month of pregnancy, the prolactin ratio in the body begins to increase. In this way, breast milk is ready for feeding after the baby is born. In addition, it is the prolactin hormone that ensures that there is no menstrual & nbsp; & nbsp; after birth-for a certain period of time- and thus not getting pregnant during the breastfeeding period.
It is normal for prolactin levels to be high during pregnancy. On the contrary, low prolactin in pregnancy is not considered normal. Except for pregnancy, the situation is the opposite. High prolactin level in non-pregnant patients is a sign that something is wrong in the body.
Our body secretes another hormone called dopamine to keep the prolactin hormone in balance. In this way, the prolactin hormone functions in a balanced way. High levels of prolactin hormone, which is necessary for the development and functions of female reproductive organs, is a condition that needs to be controlled.
High Prolactin Causes?
Factors such as intense & nbsp; exercise & or stress & nbsp; may play a role in the slight increase in prolactin levels. happens. This may also affect the pituitary gland that secretes prolactin hormone.
- Underlying diseases
If the prolactin level has increased remarkably, then it cannot be simply called stress and a deeper investigation is required. It is checked whether there are some disorders that may increase the hormone level.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome & nbsp; It has been observed that prolactin levels are also high in women with the disorder.
It is known that prolactin levels increase in patients with chronic renal failure & nbsp; and those with & cirrhosis &
Hypotrioid & nbsp; the problem of underactive thyroid gland is an important reason that increases this hormone. While the prolactin hormone level is measured in the person, it is also checked whether there is hypothyroidism or not with additional tests. If thyroid disorder is determined as a result of hormone tests such as TSH and T4, the treatment is shaped accordingly.
- Drugs used
Depression & nbsp; It is known that some psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants used due to depression are effective on prolactin levels.
Hypertension & nbsp; The side effect of some medications used by patients is an increase in prolactin levels. The same side effect may also occur in birth control pills and estrogen hormone drugs.
The tumor that occurs in the pituitary gland and is called & nbsp; prolactinoma & nbsp; is the main tumor type that causes excessive prolactin secretion by preventing the health of the pituitary gland. Tumors larger than 1 cm in diameter are called “macroadenomas” and those smaller than 1 cm are called “microadenomas.” These are mostly benign tumors.
There may also be tumors in the pituitary gland that do not increase prolactin secretion but still cause an increase in prolactin levels. These tumors cause high prolactin by affecting the hormone dopamine.
- Other reasons
Continuous stimulation of the nipples of women, hard blows they take to the chest areas or large operations applied to the chest area also increase the prolactin level.
A protein-based diet can temporarily increase prolactin levels. Excessive consumption of protein, which is one of the basic needs of the body, may affect the increase of prolactin levels.
These data are the results of scientific research so far. & nbsp; It is known that they are triggering factors, although they are not always the main factor. It is not possible to give a definitive reason explaining the increase in the hormone in about one-third of those who suffer from hyperprolactinemia.
Symptoms of Prolactin Elevation
Prolactin hormone rise above the normal level can pose serious risks for the body. Prolactin hormone, which is a factor in the development and functioning of women’s reproductive organs, prevents these functions from functioning properly when it exceeds its normal values. We can list the symptoms of high prolactin as follows:
We have stated that the most basic task of proclatine in the female body is to ensure milk production after pregnancy. & The body produces milk without any reason outside the breastfeeding period & and milk coming from the breasts is an important & symptom of prolactin height. In the medical language, ‘ galaktore ‘ is called ‘ galaktore ‘ ‘& nbsp;’ to come from breasts for no reason.
The body produces breast milk after birth. However, during pregnancy, it is normal for the body to produce milk and milk from the breasts.
In women, & menstrual irregularity , too little or no menstruation may be signs of high prolactin Prolactin, which has an important effect on the functions of the female reproductive organ, causes disruption of the ovulation and menstrual cycle when it reaches a high level in the body.
The absence of ovulation due to high prolactin prevents women from conceiving. This condition causes infertility when high prolactin levels are not treated. If pregnancy does not occur despite long-term attempts, prolactin level is checked by performing a blood test.
In men , although it is rare, “galactorrhea”, which means milk coming from the breasts, can be seen. Again, high prolactin levels can lead to decreased sexual desire and impotence in men. It is also known to cause infertility by negatively affecting sperm production. & Nbsp; Breast growth can be seen in men with high prolactin.
Other symptoms: & nbsp; Although not very common, other symptoms such as headache, visual disturbances or nausea can be mentioned.
It was observed that a significant portion of the tumors detected in men were macroadenomas (larger than 1 cm), and the majority of tumors detected in women were microadenomas (less than 1 cm).
Treatment of High Prolactin
High prolactin level is a serious condition and should be treated under the supervision of a specialist. It is necessary to divide the treatment into two. Treatment of the level increase caused by tumors in the pituitary gland and the treatment of the level increase due to other reasons. Before starting treatment, the diagnosis of high prolactin should be made clearly with the necessary examinations. With other examinations to be done, the reason should be investigated and the treatment process should be started.
1- Treatment of Tumors in the Pituitary Gland
Tumors in the pituitary gland are generally & nbsp; benign tumors & nbsp; and do not turn into cancer. These tumors, which occur in almost every human being, are diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized axial tomography (CT scan) methods.
The first method applied for tumors is & nbsp; medicine & nbsp; The drugs used include & nbsp; cabergolin & nbsp; and & nbsp; bromocriptine & nbsp; Thanks to drugs, up to 50% shrinkage has been observed in tumors. However, its side effects are high. Side effects such as fainting, vomiting, headache, hallucinations may cause patients to stop taking their medication from time to time.
If the tumors pose a serious danger, the method of & nbsp; surgery & nbsp; is used, which is a very rarely used method. With the surgical intervention performed, the tumors are removed from the pituitary gland and the patient gets rid of all complaints within approximately 6 months.
If small tumors are found in the pituitary gland and these tumors do not have any damage, the tumors are only monitored with the controls and examinations performed every 6 months.
Radiotherapy is a known method in & nbsp; However, it is not a preferred method because it causes pituitary gland insufficiency and has low success.
2- Treatment for High Prolactin Due to Other Causes
It is important to determine why the amount of prolactin rises here. If it is a condition originating from the thyroid gland, the treatment shifts in that direction and is shaped accordingly. If the problem of getting milk from the breasts is a symptom alone, no treatment is applied.
After determining the cause of high prolactin, & nbsp; drug therapy & nbsp; is generally applied. The complaints disappear in a short time thanks to the drug treatment applied. However, using drugs alone is not enough. During the treatment, the patient should listen to the doctor’s advice very well and stay away from stress.
A patient with a prolactin level of 100 ng / ml can go down to a normal level of 25 ng / ml in a short period of 1 month by keeping his morale well and listening to his doctor. However, the prolactin level of 50 ng / ml in a depressed, stressed patient may not return to normal even in 6 months.
Determination of Prolactin Elevation
To determine the prolactin level, & nbsp; blood analysis & nbsp; is performed. If the prolactin level is high, a second blood test may be ordered to be completely sure. There are some issues that need to be considered in order to get a definite result from the blood test, such as testing on an empty stomach and in the morning. Doctor or laboratory recommendations on this matter should be followed carefully.
- Strenuous exercise or emotional stress to be done just before a blood test & nbsp; may affect the results.
- Stress should be avoided and sleep should not be left.
- Breasts should not be stimulated up to 24 hours before the test. attention should be paid.
- If you pay attention to these issues, you will ensure that the prolactin level is measured more accurately.
- In parallel with the blood test, tests that measure thyroid and kidney functions can be performed to determine why the prolactin level is high.
- With magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized axial tomography (CT scan), it can be checked whether there is a tumor in the pituitary gland and the treatment process can begin accordingly.
- High prolactin may indicate a serious condition. and it needs to be treated. A specialist doctor should be helped for diagnosis and treatment.