The Side Effects of High Prolactin! – How to Lower Its Levels Naturally?
Do you feel your energy, sex drive, muscle mass, and strength have become significantly low lately? Do you experience difficulty in getting an erection? Do you also have enlarged chests almost like man-breasts? Then you probably have high levels of prolactin in your body.
What is prolactin?
Prolactin, also known as luteotropin, is a protein that is best known for its function in enabling mammals, generally females, to produce milk. It is secreted from the pituitary gland in response to eating, mating, estrogen treatment, ovulation, and nursing. In addition to these functions, prolactin also plays a crucial role in metabolism, regulation of the immune system and pancreatic development.
Higher than normal blood prolactin concentrations can be caused by prolactinomas. Prolactinomas or lactotroph adenomas are benign tumors of the pituitary gland that produces prolactin. Prolactinomas occur in both men and women but are more frequently diagnosed in women who are less than 50 years than in older women or men.
A prolactin level of 34 to 386 ng/ mL is considered normal for pregnant women while it should be below 25 ng/ mL for non-pregnant women. Meanwhile, men must make sure the prolactin level doesn't go over 15 ng/ mL.
What causes high prolactin levels?
In women, high levels of prolactin are normal during pregnancy and after childbirth during nursing. Nonetheless, it can also be caused by anorexia nervosa, liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism. Pituitary tumors can also lead to high levels of prolactin.
High prolactin levels can be caused by certain medications as well. Psychiatric drugs such as risperidone and haloperidol may increase prolactin levels. Metoclopramide can also raise your prolactin levels.
Some everyday stressors also play a role in increasing prolactin levels. These stressors consist of low blood sugar, strenuous exercise activities and even mild forms of discomfort.
What are the side effects of high prolactin levels in men?
Unlike women, men won't gain much with the presence of prolactin, and it is unknown why it is still generated in men. On top of that, high levels of prolactin can cause the following severe problems in men.
- 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?
There are medical treatments available that could lower prolactin levels. These treatments tend to reduce the level of prolactin in the blood to normal and to decrease the size of a large adenoma.
The clinician and patient must discuss the possible benefits and risks of treatment before committing into it. Most prolactinomas respond well to therapy with medications called dopamine agonists.
However, not all prolactinomas require medical treatment. Such procedures are only needed if the tumor is large or causing symptoms. In cases where the tumor is small and does not cause any symptoms, then it does not need to be treated.
In such instances, the following methods can be employed to reduce prolactin levels naturally.
A 2010 study titled Infertility and obstructive sleep apnea: the effect of continuous positive airway pressure therapy on serum prolactin levels proved that improved sleep significantly decreased prolactin levels without affecting testosterone, glucose or cortisol levels.
A study published in Hormone and Metabolic Research examined the response of plasma prolactin (PRL) to oral administration of increasing doses of zinc was in 17 healthy adult men and women.
The researchers found out that prolactin concentrations significantly fell below basal levels in all subjects in response to the increase in plasma zinc levels. Additionally, research conducted back in 1982 proved that zinc helps in increasing testosterone.
The subjects who were treated with zinc had significant improvement in libido. Patients who had hypogonadism or the reduction or absence of hormone secretion or other physiological activity of the gonads were cured using the intake of zinc.
Try introducing the following foods in your diet-
- Pumpkin seeds
- Watermelon Seeds
- Dark chocolate
Foods with vitamin B6
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study found out that a single dose (300 mg) of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, produced significant rises in peak levels of immunoreactive growth hormone (GH) and a significant decrease of plasma prolactin in hospitalized healthy subjects. Pork, poultry such as chicken or turkey, fish, wheat germ, eggs, vegetables, and potatoes are some examples of foods containing vitamin B6.
High levels of dopamine are particularly helpful for men. A study published in a journal of Endocrine Society examined the effect of dopamine on the release of newly synthesized prolactin. The investigation concluded that high dopamine levels could reduce prolactin levels. Dopamine diet includes eggs, fruit, and vegetables, in particular bananas, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and dark chocolate. Some foods included in dopamine diet may have adverse effects on testosterone levels even though it lowers prolactin levels. So it is better to invoke dopamine through supplements from mucuna pruriens extracts.
Foods with vitamin E
The results of this study conducted in 1992 show that vitamin E treatment lowers prolactin levels probably due to the inhibition of central prolactin secretion. Cereals, nuts, and seeds are some common foodstuff that offers vitamin E.
If you prefer fast-paced supplements instead of natural foods and change of lifestyle, there are some products available in the market that you can use to reduce prolactin levels effectively.
Withania Somnifera, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is an herb of Indian origin which is famous for its therapeutic qualities for men's health. Ashwagandha is indeed capable of delivering several benefits for men including the capacity to increase testosterone levels.
Traditionally, ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, tumors, breathing trouble, bronchitis, backache, and chronic liver disease. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicines published a study which found that ashwagandha lowered prolactin levels in men. One of the most positively reviewed supplements available in Amazon is none other than Organic Ashwagandha by NaturaLife Labs.
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Mucuna Pruriens, popularly known as Velvet Bean, is a bean that grows in vines and climbing shrubs. The bean contains a good source of L-DOPA, and it also possesses antioxidant content. L-DOPA is a precursor to neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (adrenaline) collectively known as catecholamines.
L-DOPA is an amino acid that prompts a positive mental state of action and assertiveness, and it can cross the blood-brain barrier, and it can improve dopamine concentrations.
It is already mentioned above that dopamine is effective in decreasing prolactin levels. The following are the most popular mucuna pruriens supplements.
If you have a hard time getting natural foods containing zinc; then you can try zinc supplements such as Zinc Balance or Best Naturals Zinc.
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Vitamin B6 supplements
In the case of vitamin B6, the vitamin B6 supplements of Bulk Supplements or Best Naturals will provide you with enough vitamin B6.
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Vitamin E supplements
Nutricost and Pure Encapsulations offer supplements containing vitamin E in capsule form.
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As discussed above, prolactin is nothing but trouble for men. Fortunately, you can inhibit prolactin either by consuming supplements that are available in the market or by merely changing your lifestyle and diet.
But one important thing you have to note that sometimes high levels of prolactin may also be an indication of pituitary gland tumor. If your levels are still extremely high even after following the measures above, then you must make sure that you consult a doctor and get your brain scanned as quickly as possible.