What is prolactin
Prolactin is a hormone with a function to the regulation of metabolism and the immune system. As well as to the health of the reproductive and nervous system. Prolactin production is determine by two other hormones. That is dopamine and estrogen, which send a signal to the pituitary gland.
Dopamine is the one that causes the prolactin to decrease, while estrogen increases its production.
As the name probably suggests, in stimulating lactation prolactin is involve. But also may play a role in regulating appetite, immunity, homeostasis, fertility, or blood coagulation.
If the level of this hormone is low – women cannot breastfeed after birth or do not produce enough milk. This condition is hyperprolactinemia or prolactin deficiency. In such cases, the prolactin level is below 3 ng / mL, and normally should be 25 ng / mL. Men may also have a prolactin deficit – below 5 ng / mL, as low as 17 ng / mL as it should normally be. Symptoms that may suggest a prolactin deficiency include anxiety, premature ejaculation or oligozoospermia.
The most common causes of prolactin deficiency are hypopituitarism, certain autoimmune diseases, growth hormone deficiency (somatotropin), hypothyroidism, or various medications.
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