Elevated Prolactin

by KJ
(Australia)

I am aged 53 and have elevated prolactin which has shown up in my previous 3 blood tests over an 18 month period. I was advised by a gynaecologist to have an MRI to see if a tumor on my pituitary was the cause. I have not proceeded with the MRI as I was told the only way to rid myself from the tumor would be a medication with many side effects, which I am not prepared to take.

I am progesterone deficient with very heavy, painful periods which I have recently begun using progesterone cream for. My question is, what causes high prolactin levels in the first instance and does it have anything to do with my hormone levels being so unbalanced for so long? I have spoken to several doctors now with no satisfactory answers. Can you please help as I feel I have reached a dead end?

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Oct 06, 2009
Elevated Prolactin
by: Wray

Hi KJ, High prolactin can be caused by several factors, apart from a tumour. Low progesterone levels, a lack of protein, in particular the amino acid tyrosine, high oestrogen which stimulates it's production, certain drugs increase prolactin production, in particular the contraceptive Pill due to it?s high oestrogen content.

There is some evidence that stress contributes to high prolactin levels. If as you say you are deficient in progesterone, with heavy bleeding which indicates high oestrogen, I would imagine this is the cause. Progesterone suppresses prolactin, as does the neurotransmitter dopamine. The amino acid L-tyrosine is the precursor to dopamine, it could be there is a lack of tyrosine in your diet or high stress. Dopamine is synthesised in nervous tissue and in the adrenals from tyrosine. Noradrenaline and adrenaline are then synthesised from dopamine. These two, together with cortisol, make up the ?stress? hormones. With a high level of stress dopamine levels will drop. The two B vitamins B3 and folic acid are needed for the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine. It would be advisable to take 500g/day tyrosine (in the morning) to start with, increasing by the same amount until the optimum dose is reached. (It is safe to go up to 5000mg/day). Take 100mg B3 and 300mcg folic acid too (no need to increase these). Both these act as co-factors in the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine. I've pasted below info from Medline.

  • People with the following conditions may have high
  • prolactin levels:
  • Chest wall trauma or irritation
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney disease
  • Pituitary tumor that makes prolactin (prolactinoma)
  • Other pituitary tumors and diseases
  • Certain medications can also raise prolactin levels, including:
    Antidepressants
    Butyrophenones
    Estrogens
    H2 blockers
    Methyldopa
    Metoclopramide
    Phenothiazines
    Reserpine


    Apart from taking the tyrosine, I would suggest at least 200-300mg/day of progesterone. I've found for heavy bleeding anything less will not help. In fact one woman who wrote to me was using 900mg/day in a cream form as prescribed by her doctor. This stopped the heavy bleeding very quickly, but at my suggestion she reduced the dose to 600mg/day but to use it hourly. This was also effective. She reduced it herself to 400mg/day, also hourly, and only then did she have a normal period and this was after six months of progesterone use. Take care, Wray

  • Oct 20, 2009
    Many thanks
    by: KJ

    Thanks Wray, you have no idea how helpful your reply is. I only recently started on Dr John Lee's progesterone cream but am not sure if I should use it continually during my cycle until my levels come up or just day 14-26. I am currently using a pea size amount twice daily. Is this enough to counteract my prolactin problem? Hopefully, with your advice regarding tyrosine I will see some positive results. Once again, many thanks.

    Oct 25, 2009
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi KJ. Glad it was of help. I suggested 200-300mg/day progesterone, I've found anything less does not help with heavy bleeding. This amounts to 6-9ml of Natpro per day, which would need to be doubled with the cream you are using, as it contains only 16mg progesterone per gram. The 'pea' size you're using would amount to about 1ml of cream, twice a day. This would be giving you a total of about 32mg progesterone per day. I doubt this amount would make a difference! You are heading for menopause, hence the heavy bleeding, so I would suggest you ignore your cycle and use the cream every day. Even during peri-menopause I did, as my symptoms came back in the days I didn't use it, not something I enjoyed! Take care, Wray

    Jun 18, 2010
    BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR
    by: KARIS from Australia

    Hi Wray, So excited to tell you that after using progesterone cream now for 6-7 months my Prolactin levels have halved. After a very heated debate with a "female" gyny last year because of her lack of knowledge regarding thinking outside the square when it comes to pre menopause & menopause symptoms, and insisting, without success, that I embark on HRT, I am happy I took charge of my own issues with great success.

    I would like this story to be read by all women who suffered as I did for many years with estrogen dominance. We MUST be our own Doctor with regard to our health as mainstream Practitioners are ignorant to Natural solutions,especially in Australia.

    Thank You Wray for all your help & advice.

    Jun 22, 2010
    BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR
    by: Wray

    Hi Karis You've no idea how delighted I am! It's a pity so few know about progesterone and how it works in us. Something I forgot to mention previously, prolactin is the hormone involved in the production of milk. It's suppressed by progesterone during pregnancy, after birth progesterone levels drop sharply, prolactin is no longer suppressed, so milk production starts. Very simple really! So please don't forget stress also drops both progesterone and dopamine levels, so if stressed use more cream, and possibly take tyrosine too, to raise dopamine levels. And yes, it's essential to take charge of our own health! Take care Wray

    Jul 24, 2010
    Elevated prolactin and low progesterone
    by: sandra

    I have a high prolactin level which is 29.4 and a low progesterone which is 3.1 and I have been taking some drugs and since last month when I saw my period was on the 19 and now I have not seen it and I have gone for test it was negative. Please what do I do?

    Aug 01, 2010
    Jul 24, 2010 Elevated prolactin and low progesterone
    by: Wray

    Hi Sandra Not knowing how long your cycle normally is, it's difficult to know if it's just a glitch or if it's normal for you. You don't say what drugs you are on, as some can contribute to a high prolactin level, including contraceptives. But as you have high prolactin/low progesterone please follow the advice I gave Karis in the comments above. Take care Wray

    Nov 16, 2010
    Prolactin Levels
    by: DA

    Hi...Just wanted to know if you knew of any vitamins or herbs that would lower prolactin levels. I spoke with my doctor today about vitex and she said that I could give it a try, but that it probably won't lower my levels to where it should be. I was told about bromocryptine, but would prefer not being on any medication at all...I have a micro adenoma on my pitutary gland which elevates my prolactin levels. I just want to make sure I know all of my options before deciding on what to take. Thanks

    Nov 19, 2010
    Prolactin Levels
    by: Wray

    Hi DA Agnus castus has been used for many problems which women suffer from, PMS, mastalgia, menstrual irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, increasing lactation and more. In days gone by it was used by monks to reduce sexual desire, hence it's name 'chasteberry'. It can also reduce prolactin levels, which in turn can cause luteal phase dysfunction, with subsequent problems in embryo implantation. But because it has a mild oestrogenic action, levels of 17 beta-oestradiol can increase. One study found mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in the luteal phase. Agnus castus doesn't contain progesterone. It's active constituents are the essential oils limonene, cineol, pinene, and sabinene. The iridoid glycosides aucubin, agnuside, and eurostide. The flavonoids casticin, kaempferol, quercetagetin, orientin, and isovitexin. And the diterpenes vitexilactone, rotundifuran, and 6-beta,7 beta-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-dien. It also contains several fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. Please see here, here, here, here, here and here. Oestrogen increases mitotic and secretory activity of several cells in the pituitary, but particularly the proliferation of lactotrophs or prolactin cells. The most frequent symptom is hypogonadism in both genders. High prolactin inhibits the secretion of FSH and GnRH which leads to hypogonadism. In women this suppresses the ovulatory cycle causing irregular periods, anovulation, with subsequent difficulty in falling pregnant, and a possible loss of libido and breast pain too. In some women, menstruation may disappear altogether. A high level of stress causes dopamine levels to drop and prolactin to rise. A lack of protein in the diet, leads to a deficiency in the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is the precursor to dopamine, a drop in tyrosine levels causes dopamine levels to drop, which stimulates prolactin release. There is evidence that prolactin is involved in tumourigenesis, so reducing the prolactin level could well cause the adenoma to shrink. Progesterone causes an increase in dopamine by suppressing prolactin and oestrogen, see here. Consider taking tyrosine too. Please avoid bromocryptine if you can. Take care Wray

    Nov 19, 2010
    Prolactin Levels
    by: DA

    Thanks Wray! So I'm thinking that I'll take vitamins B, vitamin B3 and folic acid (for the tryosine)...and some progesterone. Does progesterone come in a capsule? I would hate to have to get a shot every time I need some :) Do you have any other suggestions? I would love to hear them...thank you so much for all of the information.
    DA

    Nov 23, 2010
    Prolactin Levels
    by: Wray

    Hi DA Pleased it was of help! I was a bit vague about giving you info on progesterone, sorry! Progesterone does come in a capsule, but oral progesterone is the least effective delivery system. For more info please see the page we have on Progesterone application methods.
    No need to get a shot of it either, very painful by all accounts! So that leaves the suppositories or creams, I prefer the latter as it can be used anywhere. I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. I suggest you try the 200mg/day initially, as you need to reduce the prolactin, plus any excess oestrogen stimulating it's production. For more info on the cream see here. But before you consider using it, please see this page on Oestrogen Dominance first. Take care Wray

    Feb 28, 2011
    Progesterone & Prolactin
    by: KJ from Australia

    I found after using progesterone for several months my prolactin levels decreased to normal levels. I feel I needed to oppose the oestrogen with the progesterone to do this. This of course was after a gynacologist had almost convinced me that I was suffering with a pituitary tumor. After much research myself, I was sure the oestrogen was the culprit. I was right! Of course the so called 'Professional' WOULD NOT AGREE. How sad for her future patients. Or should I say Victims?

    Mar 17, 2011
    High Prolactin and High Testosterone
    by: Neveen

    The high prolactin in the comment caught my attention. I have been having issues for almost five years. Left breast grow bigger than the other along with really bad pain, ultrasound and mammogram revealed nothing is wrong. My period is almost gone, hair lose like you wouldn't believe. Really bad pelvis pain, can't sleep for month on an end and other strange symptoms. Finally after going in circles I was told that I have high prolactin and high testosterone and only after I pushed my doctor to test me. I have been searching the internet and I came across using progesterone cream and I did order some. I am wondering if it would help with me the high prolactin and the high testosterone and how often and how much I should be using it. What other herbal supplements i should be using to help as well. I am currently taking matformin for insulin resistant; I am talking 1000mg per day. Just started a few months ago which has helped a great deal? Thanks so much for this site. It is a great help.

    Mar 25, 2011
    Progesterone & Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi KJ I couldn't agree more with your sentiments! It's good to hear back from you with a positive report that the progesterone helped. Oestrogen increases mitotic and secretory activity of several cells in the pituitary, but particularly the proliferation of prolactin cells. I've found two more papers which might interest you, see here and here. The first papers shows how stimulating the proliferation of prolactin cells causes a tumour! Take care Wray

    Mar 25, 2011
    High Prolactin and High Testosterone
    by: Wray

    Hi Neveen Progesterone does suppress excess prolactin, KJ also supports this as she tried it. Oestrogen increases prolactin, as it increases mitotic and secretory activity of several cells in the pituitary, but particularly the proliferation of prolactin cells. Please read the papers I've given to others on this page. Oestrogen also causes water retention and inflammation, hence the pain in your breast. Rubbing a progesterone cream on the breast does help. But please make sure you use sufficient, I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone. I've found anything less merely exacerbates symptoms, as it ramps up oestrogen. This leads to Oestrogen Dominance and more adverse symptoms. As you say your period is almost gone you are now in Peri-menopause. This page gives info on how to use progesterone. The hair loss is due to excess testosterone, you say yours is high. Testosterone also causes Insulin Resistance.
    By using progesterone it will reduce your testosterone levels, plus it does help stabilise blood glucose slightly. These are further papers on testosterone, it's essential you suppress it, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here, here and here. There are many nutrients which reverse IR, there's no need to take the Metformin if you choose this route. Incidentally, I do hope you've been given vitamin B12, as Metformin reduces levels, see here. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray

    Apr 02, 2012
    Prolactinoma
    by: Lauren - Australia

    Hi Wray

    I just want to thank you so much for your information on prolactinomas and natural treatment on this page, I have really struggled to find information on this and this was the first thing I have ever stumbled across that has given me a better understanding of how it all works, Endocrinologists seem so limited in what they tell you and even the natural hormone doctors over here seem to be lacking in knowledge but still charge a criminal amount for a consultation!

    I am 24 years old, in early 2011 things started to go downhill.. I felt it was hormonal as I had been having issues for a few years already with no answers from doctors, except "stay on the pill" and so I went off the pill (and will never use it again) and my periods completely stopped! I had crippling anxiety and depression (which I had never suffered from before) and terrible fatigue. I refused antidepressants, didn't feel that was the problem. I had to stop working, lucky I have a supportive husband. After occasionally leaking milk from my breasts doctors diagnosed a prolactinoma.. Blood test showed the prolactin level to be around 2000 and MRI showed 4mm tumour on the pituitary. Endo put me on Dostinix (Cabergoline), no one could tell me anything about how this prolactinoma had come about, only that it suppressed my other hormones.

    Just prior to this, during the time I was trying to find out what was wrong, I went to a natural hormone doctor over here who found I had hardly any progesterone or oestrogen (saliva tests) and put me on Progesterone/Pregnenolone troches (only available with script here) which made a massive difference to me, but he had completely missed the prolactinoma which didn't give me much confidence. Endo advised me to go off the troches while trialling Cabergoline to allow the hormone levels to naturally return, which I did.

    Nine months after starting Cabergoline my periods have returned, fatigue is slowly improving and anxiety has greatly improved but I am not too happy about being on this medication long term, even though I am on a low weekly dose. I am trying to convert my whole lifestyle to healthier options. I still suffer from terrible PMS, I haven't been able to shed the 10kgs I have gained over this time despite introducing a lot more exercise and I have the majority of the Oestrogen Dominence symptoms. I had been thinking of going back on progesterone and other natural alternatives and I was so happy to find your site!

    I have just ordered your progesterone cream and I am going to trial that with tyrosine, as you suggested above, and go off the Dostinix (there doesn't seem to be any immediate danger in doing this, the doctor was quite happy for me to do so e.g. if I became pregnant).

    Any other suggestions you could offer for my situation?

    Many thanks,
    Lauren

    Apr 02, 2012
    Prolactinoma
    by: Wray

    Hi Lauren I'm delighted you read the other comments above, it makes my life far easier! I seem to repeat myself endlessly. It seems by all accounts that you have been low in progesterone since puberty. Which probably means your oestrogen was high. As this stimulates the lactotrophs to multiply, and secrete more prolactin, it wouldn't surprise me to find it was the oestrogen which caused the prolactinoma. Which of course would increase your prolactin levels still further. As you're wanting to come off the dostinix and start progesterone, please have another prolactin test done. Then once you start the progesterone you will have a bench mark to note any progress. If you have terrible PMS, an indication your oestrogen is too high, progesterone too low, I feel you should use no less than 200mg/day progesterone, you might need more. Please see these comments here for encouragement. Normally I recommend using the progesterone following your cycle, but if you find when stopping it prior to bleeding you get bad Oestrogen Dominance it might be worth considering using it daily for 2-3 months through any bleeding too. I've found this ensures progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, and suppresses any excess oestrogen. It will also suppress excess prolactin if you still have too high a level. It's easy enough to follow your cycle again, we have more info about this on our page How to use progesterone cream. Tyrosine is essential too, I'm happy you're going to try that. We have more info on how to take it on our page Natural Antidepressants. One other thing, please have a vitamin D test done. The B vitamins are important for the conversion of tyrosine into dopamine, but even more essential is vitamin D. The rate limiting step in dopamine synthesis is the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. Insufficient levels of vitamin D inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase, resulting in a disturbance in the dopamine pathway. Unfortunately Australia has a daft policy of covering up when in the sun, nothing could be more dangerous to our health. Vitamin D levels are low in Australia, it's vital for the normal functioning of every cell. Vital too for pregnancy and the growth of the foetus, see here, here and here. continue below.

    Apr 02, 2012
    Prolactinoma Part 2
    by: Wray

    Hi Lauren And more here, here, here, here and here. These are excellent videos to watch too, see here and here.
    Even as far back as 1947 10,000-20,000iu's were suggested, see here. So when you do fall pregnant, please make sure your levels are high. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Finally we do have a page on Pregnancy you could look through, plus this one here. Take care Wray

    Nov 11, 2012
    Any insight?
    by: Holly

    Im learning so much reading all of your posts here. Maybe someone here could give me some insight. I am 32 with two healthy children at home, a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I had no problems during my pregnancies with them. A year ago we started trying again and in the past year I have miscarried 3 times, all between 8 and 12 weeks along. After the second miscarriage my dr started me on 50 mg progesterone supp BID, and wanted me to begin taking it when I found out I was pregnant. Of course this didnt work. 3 weeks later I miscarried. My Dr wants to send me to a fertility specialist now. I want to figure this out myself. From what Ive found I believe my Luteal phase in my cycle is less than ten days and I'd guess my progesterone levels are actually low. Also I started taking prozac 2 years ago and am afraid this is causing it to lower even more. Am I correct? Any suggestions on whether I should start taking progesterone now, or anything else that may be wrong or that I am missing? I am stopping the prozac, as I take a low dose and will be ok without it at this point. Thank you in advance for any insight.

    Nov 12, 2012
    Any insight?
    by: Wray

    Hi Holly Please can you clear something for me. You say 'After the second miscarriage my dr started me on 50 mg progesterone supp BID'. But then you say he 'wanted me to begin taking it when I found out I was pregnant'. So did you only start it once pregnant, or were you using it prior to falling pregnant? I'm so pleased you want to figure this out yourself, the specialist route will lead to drugs and huge costs. It all points to low progesterone, and possibly low vitamin D. Your 10 day luteal phase, the 8 to 12 weeks miscarriages, and the fact you had no problems with your two children, but do now. Stress drops both Progesterone and Vitamin D, have you been more stressed? I can only guess you are, hence the Prozac. I have no evidence the drug lowers progesterone levels, but stress certainly does. But as you started taking it after your last child was born, I suspect you had post natal depression? If I'm right, PND is caused by a drop in progesterone levels, it can be corrected by very high amounts of progesterone, see here, plus our page on Anxiety. Or have you been avoiding the sun, as lack of vitamin D also causes miscarriages. A normal luteal phase is 12-14 days long, anything less is regarded as defective. We do have more info about this on our Pregnancy page. The page also gives info on how to use progesterone when pregnant. Progesterone can help lengthen the luteal phase, but it does take time. Initially it can upset the cycle making it earlier or later than normal. An early luteal rise in progesterone is essential for a successful implantation, see here. So starting progesterone after pregnancy is confirmed is pointless, this is days too late. It should be started about 50 hours prior to ovulation. It's always been believed, and still is by everyone including the medical profession, that progesterone is only produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. But as far back as 1930 it was thought there must be another source. This was confirmed in the 1960's, and re-confirmed in the 1980's, that there is a surge of progesterone about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Continued below

    Nov 12, 2012
    Any insight? Part 2
    by: Wray

    Hi Holly This surge comes from the brain, see here, here, here and here. Oestrogen also surges about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Unless there is the progesterone surge too, there is nothing to counter the oestrogen effect. Many women get adverse symptoms around ovulation, this is the reason. And of course if there isn't the progesterone surge, the luteal rise is delayed until after ovulation. 50mg/day progesterone is far too low too, I generally recommend 100-200mg/day, often more. It is trial and error finding the right amount. I find if high amounts are used initially, and then reduced slowly to the optimum, it's more effective than starting low. This often exacerbates existing symptoms. Please read through the pregnancy page, and in particular watch the videos at the end. All about the essential role vitamin D plays in pregnancy and lactation. Please have a test done. Another nutrient to consider is taurine, more about this on the pregnancy page. Take care Wray

    Jan 15, 2013
    Need help figuring out why my prolactin is so high
    by: M

    I'm now 38 years old. We had one miscarriage when I was in my twenties and another a little over 3 years ago. I took birth control pills for close to 20 years. Not long after the first miscarriage I was diagnosed as hypothyroid and went on Levoxyl. For years they just kept bumping up that medication repeatedly and I still never felt that things were right. As time has went on I just keep gaining and gaining weight. One of the doctors that I saw years ago told me that until my thyroid was regulated I would continue to gain weight and that I would have to work extra hard to take it off. I tried a low carb Atkins plan for 2 weeks once and only lost half a pound. Several months ago I finally convinced my doctor to let me try Armour thyroid. It definitely made a difference in how I felt and for the first time in years I was able to lose a few pounds with eating right and exercise.

    After the second miscarriage I then went months without a period and my gyn prescribed progesterone to get my cycles back to normal. I also went through an episode of depression but was able to get off of all the medications.

    We've been trying to conceive again for over 3 years with no success. My gyn indicated she thought I might have PCOS and prescribed Clomid. She was the first one to mention the elevated Prolactin as well. When I asked what could be done for that she indicated that the only medicine that could be prescribed for it had serious potential side effects including blood clots and that she didn't want to prescribe.

    I'm now going to a fertility specialist. They didn't find anything physically wrong with me or my husband. They prescribed a longer dose of Clomid (10 days instead of 5 and a higher dosage) but we still haven't had success. During their bloodwork they mentioned that my prolactin was elevated. Then they had me recheck it while fasting and it was still elevated. My doctor had mentioned that stress could contribute to it being high. We've been trying to get pregnant and just had an ultrasound yesterday that indicated we have 5 follicles that are ready so they gave me a shot of hcg to induce ovulation. The nurse called today to tell me that they want me to have an MRI to check if I have a pituitary tumor but they can't get me in for 2 weeks. She advised me to take a pregnancy test the morning before the MRI and to call if it is positive.

    My husband is really freaking out right now and it's definitely added to my stress worrying about this.

    I'm trying to figure out what natural alternatives there are available to try to reduce this.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Jan 17, 2013
    Need help figuring out why my prolactin is so high Part 1
    by: Wray

    Hi M See, I get so irritated when I hear someone is put on synthetic thyroxine all because they were diagnosed hypothyroid. Probably due to your TSH levels being too high? What if there's nothing wrong with the thyroid? But because it doesn't have the raw materials to make T3 and T4, the pituitary kicks in trying to stimulate it to make them, so TSH goes up. The raw materials needed are generally very low in all of us.....iodine and tyrosine, with selenium as a co-factor. There's an iodine deficiency epidemic again, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Selenium is low in our soils now, and we're all so stressed what little tyrosine we eat is used up in making adrenaline, one of our stress hormones. Tyrosine is also the precursor to dopamine, so depression sets in and Libido drops! It's one of the most important amino acids, levels drop if stressed. Not only that but with the drop in tyrosine, and consequently the drop in dopamine, Prolactin rises! High oestrogen also stimulates prolactin production, and prolactin suppresses progesterone and dopamine. Has anyone thought of doing a progesterone/oestrogen/testosterone test on you? I'm very relieved you switched from the thyroxine, but you might consider taking this supplement here too. Julie has found it invaluable, see here, scroll to Jan 14, 2013. It's a combination of iodine and tyrosine, they also do another with the co-factors. And you 'might' have PCOS, for heavens sake why don't they test for it and do a scan, instead of putting you on that dreadful drug! Continued below

    Jan 17, 2013
    Need help figuring out why my prolactin is so high Part 2
    by: Wray

    Hi M See here, here and here. Please look through the PCOS page and see if you have any of the symptoms associated with it. It is easy to reverse, high amounts of potent antioxidants are needed, the page gives a list. I never normally push something we make, I prefer the individual to chose their own supplements. But I have to tell you that we have helped several women fall pregnant on the PCOS complex. I'm not saying it will work for you, but it's worth considering. Many studies have been done on individual nutrients, all succeeded in initiating ovulation, followed by pregnancy. We've put all those nutrients into one complex, using the same very high doses used in the studies. We have one woman now pregnant with her second child. Please also read the papers on the page, and you'll see what I mean about high doses and the success rate. Insulin Resistance is associated with PCOS, and it sounds as if you have that, with the weight gain and difficulty loosing it. This paper is interesting in view of your thyroid 'problem'..... "Thyroid-stimulating hormone is associated with insulin resistance independently of body mass index and age in women with polycystic ovary syndrome" see here. And are you sure your gyn prescribed progesterone? It seems highly unlikely to me, they confuse progestins and progesterone and use the term interchangeably. Progesterone is vital for a successful Pregnancy, more on this page here. A lack causing miscarriages. A lack of vitamin D causes miscarriages, see here, here and here. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, causes weight gain and insulin resistance, and it's vital for the thyroid. Continued below

    Jan 17, 2013
    Need help figuring out why my prolactin is so high Part 3
    by: Wray

    Hi M See here, here, here and here. I suspect your vitamin D is very low, please have a test done soon. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. There are some excellent videos at the end of the pregnancy page on vitamin D, please find the time to view them. Take care Wray

    Mar 20, 2013
    Pre-menopause
    by: LH

    Morning Wray. Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us on the effects of hormonal imbalance. I’m 40 years old. I’ve suffered with severe PMS throughout most of my 20’s and 30’s. I was on birth control pills throughout most of my 20’s. When I was 30 my husband and I decided to have a child so I stopped taking the pill. My daughter was conceived a couple months later. Other than issues with water retention, the pregnancy was normal. I didn’t experience any of the moodiness and depression throughout the whole pregnancy and even up to my 6-week check-up. I actually felt pretty good emotionally. I went back to the doctors for my 6-week check-up. Everything was great. My weight was back to normal. My doctor put me back on birth control pills and my moodiness and depression was back within two months. I gained 10 pounds was extremely irritable and snappy. I called my doctor and asked to be switched to a non-hormonal IUD. That helped with the moodiness and weight gain, but my periods started to become irregular and heavy. I ultimately ended up consulting with my doctor on getting a tubal ligation. She told me there would be no side effects what so ever so I thought great, I’m 36 years old and not planning on having any more kids so I scheduled the procedure. About a month after the procedure the depression and moodiness returned along with weight gain, vaginal dryness, constipation, bad memory, inability to concentrate, heavy/irregular periods and low libido…I was a mess. The nurse practitioner told me I was in pre-menopause. The doctor insisted the tubal ligation had nothing to do with it…just a coincidence.

    Mar 20, 2013
    Pre-menopause (Continued)
    by: LLH

    (LLH Continued Comment) They put me back on birth control pills (YAZ) to alleviate some of the pre-menopause symptoms, which is funny because the reason I decided on a tubal ligation is because I stopped responding well to birth control pills…lol --but I was willing to try anything. I was on the pill for a couple months and quit taking it because – low and behold - I didn’t respond well. Shortly after that, the doctor suggested anti-depressants (Wellbutrin, Nopramin ) to help with the moodiness. Those made me psycho mean so I stopped taking them. This has been going on for four years. I still have most of the pre-menapause symptoms. I have 5-8 days of a regular period (2 out of the 5-8 days are pretty heavy) I spot throughout the rest of the month. I estimate there’s probably a week out of the month that I’m not spotting/menstruating. My PMS is more frequent. Not sure if that’s due to age or the constant spotting/menstruation. I’ve had ultra-sounds and blood work. The only thing that’s come back irregular is my prolactin level was elevated. My doctor asked me to come in for a second prolactin test and the second test came back normal. Now my doctor wants me to try a “new” birth control pill called Lo Loestrin Fe to regulate my periods. I reminded her of my prior experience, but she wants me to take them for three months to see if they will jump start my hormones. One thing to note, after coming across your chat forum I did start taking more Vitamin D. I take 5000-6000 IU a day and I can definitely tell a difference. I feel a bit gassy, but I do feel better. I’m considering trying the progesterone cream again. I tried the cream a couple years ago and responded to it like I did the anti-depressants (made me mean), but I was using the suggested amount on the bottle which was 30 mg a day. Any suggestions?

    Mar 21, 2013
    Pre-menopause
    by: Wray

    Hi LLH Plenty of suggestions and info that's probably going to make you angry! All Contraceptives have the potential to harm. It doesn't surprise me you had PMS while on them, they lower or stop entirely progesterone production. And why he put you back on the pill after birth puzzles me. Were you not breast feeding? This acts as a contraceptive, and can do for up to 20 months after birth. The two hormones oxytocin and prolactin stop the reproductive cycle. There's evolutionary evidence this is a good thing, see here. These are two others worth reading, see here and here. There's also evidence that giving the pill immediately after birth causes depression, see here and here. Are you sure it was a non hormonal IUD, and not perhaps the Mirena? I had the copper T, so does my daughter and all her friends, and apart from a slightly heavier period, nothing else untoward occurred. And now please read all these adverse side effects from having a Tubal ligation! Only one of which is a problem with your periods. A TL can be reversed, see here. Unless your mother went into early Menopause, the average age is 51, then you are not even in Peri-menopause. Daughters tend to follow the same pattern as mothers, so please ask her. Peri-M starts anywhere from 5 to 10 years before menopause. All your symptoms are from the TL. Delighted you're taking the vitamin D, that is a maintenance dose, it won't raise levels quickly if you are low in it. So best to have a test done. As for 30mg/day progesterone, it won't touch sides with your symptoms, see our page on Progesterone Misconceptions. You'll probably need 200mg/day, but more likely 400mg/day. This is only until symptoms are under control and then it can reduced very slowly. There's more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

    Mar 22, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: LH

    Hi Wray, I chose not to breast feed, which is probably why she put me on bc at my 6-week check-up...but she didn't say a word about the high risk of it causing depression after giving birth. As far as the IUD, I'm pretty sure it was a non-hormonal IUD. I believe it was the Paragard, but I could be mistaken. When I started experiencing side effects from what I thought was the TL, I looked into the possibility of getting a TL reversal done. With the excessive cost (my insurance won't cover it), I'm trying to exhaust all other alternatives. Along with a new gyno, I think I'll try the high dose of Progesterone. If that doesn't work then maybe I'll consult another doctor on the possibility of having a reversal done. My mother was in her early 50's when she experienced her last period, but had pre-menapause symptoms in her mid-30's (she had a tubal ligation in her late 20's so her pre-menapause symptoms was never attributed to her TL). BTW, do you have any suggestions on what brand of progesterone I should buy? With the high dosage, I'd definitely need a 10% cream. Thank you again!

    Mar 23, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi LH It seems most of the studies done don't reach the doctors, so yours probably had no idea giving the pill immediately after birth causes depression. Paragard is a copper T IUD. It will never cease to amaze me how women are never warned about possible adverse side effects from surgical procedures, a hyst and TL being but two. From about age 35 we begin getting anovulatory cycles, where no progesterone is made. So your mother's symptoms starting in her mid-30's and not too long after the TL, doesn't surprise me. Your own TL would have coincided with the beginning of these cycles too. I've done a cost comparison spread sheet of over 30 of the creams available and there is only one 10% that I can find called Perfect Woman. Their website gives away no secrets! It does not give any of the ingredients. And it has two puzzling statements......'Bioidentical Natural Progesterone Cream Extra Strength 10% 2 Oz.' But it also says 'High Potency All Natural Pure Yam Extract Cream'. It can't be both, see here. The exceptionally low cost makes me suspect it is a yam cream and not a progesterone cream. It sells for $6.33 for the equivalent of 2000mg. The next in strength is Fem Pro at 5.6%, selling for $19.84 per 2000mg. It does give ingredients a few of which I would not use on my skin, see here. The next in strength is our cream Natpro at 3.33%, selling for $24.70 per 2000mg, $23.00 if three are bought, $17.25 if 20 are bought, see here. We do give full disclosure on ingredients and why we've used them. Some have Ecocert validation. Otherwise you'll have to go to a pharmacist who will make up for you. But please check their ingredients, as they are not normally concerned with them. A good site to find info on their safety is Skin Deep. Take care Wray

    Mar 26, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: LH

    Morning Wray. Thank you again for all the info. I've ordered some USP progesterone cream. Will keep you posted on how I respond.

    Mar 28, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: LH

    Hi Wray,
    One more question...should I also take the Lo Loestrin Fe my doctor prescribed or should I hold off to see if the progesterone cream helps alleviate my menopausal symptoms?

    Mar 30, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi LH I don't think you should take it, but then I'm against all Contraceptives. They do have the potential to cause harm. Apart from lowering progesterone levels, which you don't want. Take care Wray

    May 03, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: LH

    Hi Wray, Just wanted to update you on my progress. I started taking 400 mg of progesterone cream (as you advised). I felt great the first week. After the second week I started getting severe headaches and insomnia. I increased the dosage thinking maybe I wasn't getting enough. The headaches and insomnia continued along with depression and anxiety so I thought maybe I should decrease the dosage. Went down to 200 mg. I stuck with it for a couple of weeks and still no reprieve from the symptoms. I stopped using the cream two days ago and last night was the first full night of sleep I've had in a month. I'm still experiencing the headaches, but I figured it's because the progesterone is still in my system. The cream has helped with the irregular bleeding. Didn't have any spotting last month. My monthly cycle was lighter and lasted about five days, but I can't function on 2-4 hours of sleep a night. Not to mention,I was getting pretty mean and snappy to my friends and family. Any suggestions? Also, is it possible to much cream could cause progesterone dominance? I've read you experience the same symptoms as estrogen dominance.

    May 03, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: LH

    Hi Wray, Me again...I forgot to mention that my skin has become very oily?

    May 05, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi LH I'm still trying to find evidence of symptoms of high progesterone, but can't. Very high amounts have been to used to no ill affect, in fact only good. Please see this page here. And our page on Traumatic Brain Injury. And this page here, where exceptionally high amounts were used. Looking back through your list of symptoms you had a great many and some very severe too. I felt the 400mg/day was the minimum you would need to use, but it's impossible to tell. Lowering or stopping progesterone does alleviate the symptoms of Oestrogen Dominance but rather defeats the purpose. The oily skin shows testosterone has risen, this does rise prior to the rise in oestrogen. Each month women make more testosterone than oestrogen, but most is converted to oestrogen. I suggest you don't use it and see how you feel. If your previous symptoms come back then it's evident you do, but at much higher levels. You have only been using it for just over a month, I've found it can take 3-6 months to come right. One woman has been using 400mg/day for over a year now. Some have to use much more, see here and here. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

    May 06, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: LH

    Hi Wray,
    I'm sorry, I'm a little confused with your last comment...it's evident I do what? Convert higher levels of testosterone to oestrogen?

    May 07, 2013
    Elevated Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi LH I meant if you stop using progesterone and your symptoms come back, then it's evident you do need to use it, and at higher than previously used. Take care Wray

    May 28, 2013
    high prolactin level
    by: Mom

    Does anyone know if Progesterone capsules will help lower Prolactin levels? I believe dr. has prescribed 200 mg twice daily starting on days 14 through 25 of cycle. I have read that cream does help. I am not sure about absorption of capsules that go through the liver.

    May 30, 2013
    high prolactin level
    by: Wray

    Hi Mom Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues", see here. I suggest you so pen the caps, add the contents to a small amount of skin cream and apply that to your skin. You'll get the full benefit of the progesterone if you do. Do you have a 25 day cycle? I can't see why you're stopping the progesterone on day 25. We have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

    Jun 09, 2013
    High levels of prolactin due to Pituitary Cyst
    by: Anonymous

    Hello, I am interested in getting your opinion about my situation. I have been diagnosed with a pituitary cyst. My prolactin levels were high 122 on a scale of 3-24. I was given parlodel,which worked but i hate the side effects and I went off of it. My endocrinologist wants me to have an echocardogram to make sure my heart is OK and then to start cabergoline. I do not want to take meds for this and am looking for natural help. I am 55. I have not had my period for over a year which I believe is because of my age. This is when my mom and sisters entered menopause. I have had no symptoms. No headaches, my optic nerve is fine, my vision is fine, no bone loss, no nipple discharge. I am overweight, but have been for years, as I've gotten older I find it harder and harder to lose weight. I was on parlodel for a year and had terrible terrible side effects but my prolactin level went down to 12. I went off of it for 2 months and now it is up to 40. I am scared I will have side effects from the cabergoline too. Are you aware of anyone with this same situation that was helped with the progesterone treatment alone? Can you suggest anything else that I may look into? thanks so much!!!

    Jun 10, 2013
    High levels of prolactin due to Pituitary Cyst
    by: Wray

    Hi there I do agree about taking the meds, they do have unpleasant side affects and generally treat the symptom not the cause. Progesterone alone won't be enough, vitamin D is needed and tyrosine. All three suppress prolactin and increase dopamine, increased dopamine suppresses prolactin. The progesterone also suppresses oestrogen which stimulates prolactin production. We do have a page on Prolactin you could look through. It is harder as we get older to loose weight, unfortunately oestrogen stimulates proliferation of fat cells which secrete oestrone. Which only adds to the problem. Plus testosterone causes visceral fat to increase, see here and here. It could be you also have Insulin Resistance, excess oestrogen, testosterone and a lack of vitamin D can cause it. Please have a vitamin D test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the following websites, Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L, and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Take care Wray

    Jun 13, 2013
    High levels of prolactin due to Pituitary Cyst Part B
    by: Anonymous

    Hello Wray, Thank you so much for the information you gave me the other day. I've been busy reading and researching based on your links and my blood tests. First, my Vitamin D level had been 23 and my doctor put me on 5000 units which increased my levels to 39, but still not high enough based on your links. All my hormones, other than prolactin, where in the normal range for menopause, with my progesterone at .1 and total estrogens at 12. My primary care doctor nor the endocrinologist ever mentioned hormone replacement to me. I am on metformin for prediabetes with my morning glucose between 89-103. I do not have any side effects from the metformin. I am a little nervous about taking the progesterone fearful I will not get the dosage right and have my period again. I have not had it for a year, but before it stopped, the second to last time, my period was a flushing and a terrible experience i had never had before, nor have I had since. The gyno thought it was because of a fast change in diet. It never happened again, and I really dont want to start progesterone and have that happen again. Do you have any suggestions about the dosing and avoiding a bad experience? I am a very cautious person and when I take any medication or supplement I tend to start off slow to see how I will react, as I appear to be more sensitive to the side effects in general. Also, can I be having estrogen dominance with that low a number -12? Thanks so much for your help :-)

    Jun 14, 2013
    High levels of prolactin due to Pituitary Cyst Part B
    by: Wray

    Hi there I would suspect the pre-diabetes is because your vitamin D was so low, it's a risk factor for it, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. I hope you're taking vitamin B12 as metformin destroys it, see here. Another term for pre-diabetes is Insulin Resistance, there are many nutrients which can reverse it, one of course being vitamin D. The last few periods during Peri-menopause can be awful. I remember flooding on more than one occasion. Starting progesterone when in the first year of Menopause can cause a period to occur. It's actually a good thing as it means the uterus is flushed out completely. It doesn't happen again. If you do try the progesterone don't start on anything less than 200mg/day. Your progesterone level is lower than mine was, which was 0.6ng/ml, I was a basket case! Heaven knows how you feel, your ratio is only 8:1, mine was 5:1. You might like to look at Saliva Tests we run. You'll notice the ratio is over 600:1. Take care Wray

    Sep 10, 2013
    High Prolactin
    by: ba-dhel

    Hi Wray, just wanted to know, does folic acid (tablet) cure or can decrease a high prolactin?

    Sep 10, 2013
    High Prolactin
    by: Wray

    Hi Ba-dhel Low dopamine leads to high Prolactin. Tyrosine is the precursor to dopamine. Tyrosine needs vitamin B6 and folic acid for it's conversion, plus vitamin D. So you could say folic acid would help. Although tyrosine is the most important, and make sure your oestrogen is low, as this increases prolactin. Take care Wray

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