What is Prolactin?
Prolactin is mainly used to help women produce milk after childbirth. Prolactin increases during pregnancy and peaks during childbirth. The hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone that triggers the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then produces the hormone called Prolactin, which triggers the mammary gland in the breasts for milk production, which is used for nursing or during pregnancy. Let’s learn about Foods that lower prolactin levels
High prolactin levels in men and non-pregnant women can lead to problems like unexplained headaches, etc. Though high prolactin levels in non-pregnant are normal, in about 90% of women it is common to have higher than normal prolactin levels.
Symptoms for high prolactin levels:
In women, you might have irregular menstruation or irregular periods. High prolactin levels may cause infertility and there might be breast milk discharge when you are not nursing or when you are not pregnant. Other symptoms are that your breast will be tender and menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness or hot flashes.
In men, you might feel a decrease in sex drive and may need sexual medicine. It can also cause erection difficulty. High prolactin levels can also cause breast enlargement or tenderness. And in very rare scenarios there might be an increase milk supply.
Causes for Abnormal Prolactin levels:
In general, men and women have very small traces of prolactin in their blood. But few causes increase the prolactin levels in your blood. But when we are stressed, we release high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
A disease that affects the Hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the pituitary gland with its hormones.
Anorexia and prolactinoma
When you have an eating disorder, known as Anorexia. A problem where people have a fear of gaining weight and can become dangerously thin.
When you take drugs for depression, high blood pressure, or psychosis. These drugs might cause high levels of prolactin in your blood.
When you have Prolactinoma, a tumor in the pituitary causes an increase in prolactin levels. This problem causes the gland to produce too much milk.
When a person has Kidney disease, liver failure, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. These problems may affect the body to have issues in removing excess prolactin levels.
What are the normal prolactin levels?
To find out the level of prolactin in your body, you will need to take a simple test. A small amount of blood is taken from one of the veins on your arm. After a few days, you will get results that show the prolactin levels in your body.
The normal range for Prolactin in your body is 10 to 209 ng/mL in pregnant women. It ranges from 2 to 18 ng/mL in men and 2 to 29 ng/mL in Nonpregnant women.
If your levels are outside the normal range, it necessarily doesn’t have to mean that you might have a problem. Sometimes high prolactin levels can be caused due to something you at before the blood test or if you were under a lot of stress during the test.
You can take your prolactin test during normal days, and don’t have to wait for menstruation.
High prolactin levels:
Sometimes when the levels are very high as 1000 times more than the upper limit of what is considered normal. This could be a sign of Prolactinoma. A prolactinoma tumor is usually treated with medicine. Keep in mind this is a tumor and not cancer. You will have MRI scans to keep the tumor in check, during treatment, and after the treatment.
Common stressors can raise prolactin levels. A problem like low blood sugar or not stopping high-intensity workouts sometimes causes high levels. And certain psychiatric and acid reflux medications could play a role too. Low blood sugar is a huge causal factor
It has been found that patients with liver disease have increased prolactin levels which are usually caused by alcohol abuse.
If the mass near the pituitary is too big, then you might have to go under surgery to remove the tumor.
Treatment for High prolactin levels:
Just to be clear not all levels of high prolactin need to be treated. The treatments will depend on the diagnosis that the doctor gives you. If it is a small prolactinoma or when the cause for higher level can not be found.
When you have a significant size of prolactinoma. First, you are given medicine to reduce and dissolve the tumor and to reduce the prolactin amount. If this seems to not work then the doctor might suggest you take the surgery.
Treating high levels of prolactin with one of the more common treatments is a dopamine agonist. This is a medication to help the brain produce dopamine to control high prolactin levels.
For mildly elevated prolactin that lies in the range of 300 ng/mL to 500 ng/mL, you should consider natural treatment.
Also checking your thyroid can help you to lower prolactin naturally. And have a proper diet and keep your stress levels down.
Hypopituitarism and treatment:
When the prolactin level is lesser than the normal range, it means that the pituitary isn’t working to its potential. This is known as hypopituitarism, this does not need any medical treatment.
Hypopituitarism is sometimes caused due to a few drugs given to patients. Drugs like Levodopa, which are given to patients with Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine, also known as Intropine, is given to people who are in shock. And Ergot alkaloid derivatives are given to reduce severe headaches.
Causes for low Prolactin level:
There might be several causes including Smoking, Sheehan’s syndrome, retained placental fragments, etc.
The pituitary gland, luteinizing hormone, and its tumor.
This is a major endocrine gland that is the size of a pea, located in the base of the brain, Important for controlling the growth and development of the body. It is also responsible for the functioning of other glands.
Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the gland which is mainly responsible for lactation in females during pregnancy and changes needed in pregnancy.
Prolactin production is usually restricted when the brain produces dopamine which is a hormone released from the hypothalamus. Dopamine production decreases the prolactin secretion in humans.
Pituitary tumors are also known as prolactinomas. They are mostly nondangerous tumors that stay in the pituitary gland or its surrounding tissues. This is one of the tumors that do not spread to other parts of the body.
It is known the medications that reduce dopamine can also lead to increased prolactin levels. They are very rich in amino acids, which are required for the production of dopamine in the brain.
Foods emerge that reduce High Prolactin levels:
Foods when taken in proper diets, will help you balance your hormone levels. The diet may also help in reducing the high prolactin levels and optimize anyone’s health Elevated prolactin may harm the quality of the egg produced.
Foods that lower Prolactin level:
Zinc works with vitamin B6 to manage metabolic processes and to lower prolactin levels. A proper diet is needed to lower prolactin.
Why take foods that zinc?
Foods high in zinc content are mostly recommended. Since zinc is not stored in your body, you will need to eat a diet rich in zink enough every day.
Zinc also proves beneficial for women who are looking to manage symptoms.
Foods that can be taken:
Foods high in zinc like red meat- lamb, pork, and beef. Legumes – lentils, beans, and chickpeas have sufficient amounts of zinc.
Shellfish is a low-calorie source of zinc. you can also take food like seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, whole grains, dark chocolate, many more.
Normal recommendation of Zinc:
It’s recommended that men take 11 mg of zinc per day, while women will need only 8 mg. However, if you’re pregnant you will need 11 mg per day. And if you’re breastfeeding the minimum amount you need is 12 mg.
Zinc can also be consumed as a supplement. A dosage of 50-milligram capsules per day to help lower prolactin levels.
It’s also important to get plenty of B6 vitamins. It is an effective prolactin inhibitor to lower prolactin count. This vitamin is mainly necessary for creating neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters regulate emotions and induce serotonin and dopamine.
B6 is also known to treat symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including depression, irritability, and anxiety.
Vitamin B6 is absorbed from foods like potatoes, bananas, wild salmon, chicken, and, spinach which can help boost those vitamin levels. Herb chaste tree for lower prolactin.
Another balanced diet(s) to lower prolactin:
Lower prolactin can be done by cutting down on unprocessed foods. Take more plant foods diet rich like a whole foods diet or Mediterranean diet.
Take certain foods to emerge as specifically beneficial in lowering prolactin levels. Natural treatments like a soy-based diet.
Gingko Biloba and Chasteberry
It is found that Ginkgo Biloba improves dopamine levels in the human body and acts as a prolactin inhibitor.
Also, it is proved that Chasteberry results in an increase in prolactin, while higher increasing doses sometimes reduce prolactin levels in some individuals. Sometimes Beer is also advised although it barley stimulates prolactin.