High Prolactin Levels: Symptoms, Causes & Natural Treatment

I think you’ll agree with me when i say: high prolactin levels

High prolactin level (hyperprolactinemia) is one of the causes of infertility in women and men.

And;

Prescription drugs such as bromocriptine (parlodel, bromergon) and cabergoline (dostinex) which are meant to resolve this problem are quite expensive, often come with various side effects and may sometimes not provide the expected solution

Well, it turns out that there are cheaper and effective natural ways to reduce high prolactin levels without causing any nasty side effects

This article broadly consider the symptoms, causes, and the natural alternatives for high prolactin treatment so that you can get pregnant.

 

 What is Prolactin?

Prolactin is one of the hormones that is produced in the front portion of the pituitary gland (anterior pituitary gland) which lies at the bottom of the brain. This hormone is produced both in women and men.

Apart from the anterior pituitary, other sites of prolactin production in the body include the uterus, immune cells, brain, breasts, prostate, skin and adipose tissue.

Prolactin has many different roles throughout the body.

Perhaps the most important function in women, is to encourage or enhance breast development and milk production especially during pregnancy and after delivery.

While in men, prolactin does not have any normal function.

 

High Prolactin Symptoms

The following are symptoms that may suggest you have high prolactin levels. It is important you do a prolactin test if you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms.

High Prolactin Symptoms in women

  • Irregular or Lack of Menstruation
  • Annovulation
  • Subfertility
  • Decreased libido
  • Galactorrhea: Milk discharge from the breast without breastfeeding
  • Hirsutism: A condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women
  • Acne (including chest acne)
  • Osteopenia: A condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal

High Prolactin Symptoms in Men

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased potency
  • Decreased libido
  • Osteopenia
  • Galactorrhea
  • Reduced muscle mass

Furthermore, In cases of prolactinoma  (pituituary tumor), additional symptoms may include:

  • Unexplained headache
  • Visual impairment
  • Seizures

 

Prolactin Test

Prolactin can be measured with a simple blood test drawn.

In order to get accurate results, prolactin should be drawn first thing in the morning.

The woman should have had nothing to eat from the night before and should avoid any stimulation of the breast or nipples from the day before also.

Prolactin should also be drawn early in the menstrual cycle before ovulation. This is because prolactin levels are naturally higher after ovulation.

Normal Prolactin Levels Reference Range

The normal prolactin level range in both Men and women are as follows:

  • Men: 2 – 18 ng/mL
  • Non-Pregnant Women or Non Breastfeeding Women: 2 – 29 ng/mL
  • Pregnant Women: 10 – 209 ng/mL

Note: ng/mL means nanograms per milliliter

Normal prolactin levels ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some lab use different measurements or may test different specimens.Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

Causes of High Prolactin Levels

Broadly, High prolactin levels may be as result of the following causes.

1. Physiological Cause:

This is when high prolactin levels occur as a result of the normal functioning of the body.

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast Feeding
  • Nipple stimulation
  • Stress or exercise (especially when it is excess or extreme)
  • Some type of foods (especially foods high in protein)
  • Intercourse

2. Pharmacological Cause:

Certain drugs or medications are capable of increasing prolactin level in the body. Stopping this medications will certainly reduce prolactin levels

Examples are;

  • Drugs for Depression (Antidepressant)
  • Drugs for Mental Illness (Antipsycotic)
  • Drugs or herbs that increases estrogen levels including fenugreek, fennel seeds, and red clover

3. Pathological Cause of High Prolactin Levels

Certain type of diseases or medical conditions are causes of elevated prolactin levels. Treating this medical conditions will bring prolactin levels down

They Include;

  • Prolactinomas (Pituitary tumors) (this is often responsible for very high prolactin levels)
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Chest trauma or irritation of the chest wall (from surgical scars, shingles, or from even using over-tight bra)
  • Cirrhosis (Liver Disease)
  • Kidney disease (chronic renal failure especially in patients requiring dialysis)

4. Idiopathic Cause of Hyperprolactinaemia

This means reason for high prolactin levels is unknown

Effects of High Prolactin Levels

High Prolactin Levels and Infertility

When a non-pregnant woman has high prolactin levels, the excess prolactin blocks secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). When this occurs, there will be decrease in the production of gonadotropins such as Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH).

When FSH and LH production is suppressed, this in-turn affects the level of estrogen and progesterone and can result in any of these cases.

Lets look at the three cases:

In severe cases, women with high prolactin levels will experience a stop in ovulation (anovulation). When this occurs, The frequency of menstrual cycles decreases (oligomenorrhea), and the cycle may even cease (amenorrhea) altogether

In less severe cases, high prolactin levels may only disrupt ovulation once in a while. As a result, ovulation may not occur at regular intervals or ovulation will take longer time to occur.

In mildest cases involving high prolactin levels, the woman may ovulate regularly but will not produce enough of the progesterone hormone after ovulation.

This is known as a luteal phase defect.

Deficiency in the amount of progesterone produced after ovulation may result in a uterine lining that is less able to have an embryo implant. Some women with this problem may see their period come a short time after ovulation

High prolactin level is the reason why women who are breastfeeding do not see their period (lactational amenorrhea) and therefore do not often become pregnant. As time goes on however, the prolactin level do not stay as high with breastfeeding and the woman may start to ovulate.

Furthermore, Raised or elevated levels of prolactin may result in some symptoms of estrogen deficiency, such as loss of libido, dryness of the vagina etc.

High Prolactin Levels and Weight Gain

Studies have shown that high prolactin levels can cause weight gain. However it is not clear if it is a result of its stimulation of the metabolic formation of fats (lipogenesis) or due to its disruption of the central nervous system

It is important to monitor BMI in patients with elevated prolactin levels and to introduce measures aiming to maintain an ideal weight and reduce other problems associated with overweight

Natural Treatment for High Prolactin Levels

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Researches have shown that one of the major function of Dopamine, a hormone produced in the brain is to inhibit (hold back) prolactin secretion.

As a result, drugs that mimic the action of dopamine are therefore useful in treating patients with high serum prolactin concentrations.

This means that you can reduce the high prolactin levels in your body simply by increasing the dopamine produced in the brain.

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.

In contrast to prescription prolactin inhibiting drugs, natural prolactin inhibitors are very cheap, will produce no side effect in majority of users and are very effective.

Vitamins and Supplements that reduce high prolactin levels

Vitamin B6:

This is vital nutrient involved in metabolism of amino acids and in synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine.

Apart from reducing prolactin levels when taken on high dosage, Vitamin B6 also has the following capabiities

  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Improve mood and combat depression
  • Lower blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Act as an effective calcium channel blocker

To lower prolactin, the recommended dose of Vitamin B6 is between 300mg to 1000mg per day in divided dose.

S-Adenosyl methionine (SAM-e):

This is mood and brain function boosting, liver detoxifying and joint strengthening chemical that is found naturally in the body and can be produced in the laboratory as supplements.

Various studies show that SAM-e is a cheap and safe prolactin inhibitor. It may be that it is by raising dopamine and lowering prolactin that SAM-e exerts its mood boosting, anti-depressant effects

As a result of its ability to detoxify the liver, SAM-e regulates estrogen levels while lowering prolactin

Recommended dosage for lowering prolactin level is 400mg to 1200mg on daily basis.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E is one of the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant nutrient. It has a way of preventing prolactin level from rising and rarely causes side effects.

When using Vitamin E as a prolactin inhibitor, It is recommended to take 300 to 400 IU per day of natural vitamin E or 300mg to 400mg as the case may be

Herbs to Lower Prolactin Levels

Vitex (Chasteberry):

This is a special type of herb that is mainly used for raising progesterone levels and balancing progesterone to estrogen ratio.

It also promotes ovulation, improves timing of the menstrual cycles, nourishes the pituitary gland and helps lengthen the luteal phase.

However, due to its dopaminergic effects it can reduce prolactin and increase dopamine but only when taken in higher doses

Recommended dose of vitex for high prolactin is 400mg three times daily. You can buy vitex here

Mucuna pruriens:

This is also known as velvet bean, is natural source of amino acid L-DOPA, from which dopamine is produced. It is common in Africa and tropical parts of Asia

Mucuna pruriens is available as supplements in both powdered and capsule forms which are more preferable.

However you can prepare the powder yourself by following this steps: Harvest the seeds, rinse properly, dry, and grind into powder form

Recommended dosage of mucuna pruriens for high prolactin is half teaspoon of the powder daily with honey OR 400mg of the capsule as a daily dose

Foods that reduce high prolactin levels

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help reduce high prolactin levels

A healthy, balanced diet is rich in whole “natural” and unprocessed foods. It is especially high in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants that protect the body cells from damaging. They also help raise serotonin levels in the brain

You should consider eating more of;

Proteins: They are very rich in amino acids, which are required for the production of dopamine in the brain. Include foods such as fish, eggs, beans, cheese, legumes, chicken, turkey and red meat to supply your body with adequate amino acids

And;

Fruits such as;

Banana: Ripe bananas are a major source of tyrosine (an amino acid neuron that helps regulate and stimulate dopamine production), as they continue to ripen and become sweeter, their tyrosine content becomes more high.

Apple: Apples are high in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and also triggers production of dopamine. This justifies the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Watermelon: Watermelon juice is fat free and loaded with vitamins A, B6, and C. Vitamin B6 is used by the body to manufacture neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. Vitamin C also enhances the immune system while protecting the body from free radicals.

Other fruits include; strawberry, blueberry and prunes.

 

Final Thoughts

High prolactin level is one of the leading cause of infertility in couples today. Just a slight decrease in the prolactin level can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

If you notice any of the symptoms, doing a prolactin test will help confirm so that you can resolve the possible causes as soon as possible and start the natural treatment

An effective way to reduce prolactin in women is to combine Vitamin B6, SAM-e, Vitamin E, Vitex and to eat more of the foods mentioned above.

While in men, Vitamin B6, SAM-e, Vitamin E and Mucuna pruriens works better [/sociallocker]

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