At one point of time in life, a majority of humans face issues with hormones. Neither is it gender-specific nor related to any past health issue. Health conditions that are induced by hormones should not be left untreated for a long time. This is because when it comes to hormonal issues, procrastination can fall heavy on you. All you need to do is to ensure that they are treated at the right time and have got the right medical attention.
Of all hormonal issues, one such pioneering issue is the one caused by the prolactin hormone. When there is an imbalance of prolactin in the body, it results in prolactinoma or hyperprolactinemia. To ensure that the prolactin levels in the blood are higher, you have to undergo the prolactin test UK. The prolactin hormone is present both in the bodies of males and females.
However, not many are aware of the prolactin hormone and its function. That is why we have come up with this blog. In this blog, you will learn about the prolactin hormone, the purpose of getting a PRL blood test, the preparations you need to take for a prolactin blood test, the procedure of prolactin blood test and many more. So, without further delay, let’s get into the blog.
What is prolactin?
The pituitary gland releases the prolactin hormone. The primary purpose of the prolactin hormone is to control growth, and metabolism and take care of sexual development. The amount of prolactin produced in men and women differs according to gender. The main purpose of the prolactin hormone is to ensure that women lactate after pregnancy. Also, it is the prolactin that ensures the supply of milk in your body as long as you are breastfeeding. So, with the help of a prolactin test, you can measure the amount of prolactin hormone contained in your body.
What is the purpose of a prolactin blood test?
The reason why a doctor asks you to get a prolactin test is to monitor and diagnose if you are suffering from prolactinoma. Although the symptoms of prolactinoma can be a headache, and milk production outside pregnancy, the symptoms may not be the same for all. So, you may not experience what your friend has experienced and vice versa.
Another common symptom that people with high prolactin levels will notice is the pressure on the optic nerve due to the presence of the tumour. As a result, this causes vision problems. Besides, if you notice an irregularity in your periods or face fertility issues, the doctor advises you to undergo a prolactin blood test. People with PCOS or PCOD may also have high prolactin levels in their blood.
How to prepare for a prolactin blood test?
The prolactin blood test is just like any other form of the blood test. So, you do not need any special preparation for it. However, you cannot provide the blood sample to the medical professional at any part of the day. This is because the level of prolactin undergoes a constant change throughout the day. What you have measured in the morning will never be the same as that of the evening and night.
The level of prolactin is highest during these phases of your body cycle:
- When you are menstruating
- When you are sleeping at night
- The time right after undergoing strenuous exercise
So, the doctor advises patients to get the prolactin blood test done one or two hours after waking up in the morning. To provide a blood sample for the prolactin blood test, you should not eat any solid food except water. Eating food will never yield accurate results. Besides, make sure to wear a loose-fitting t-shirt or dress that gives easy access to the arm veins. Otherwise, it gets pretty difficult to collect blood from your body.
Process of prolactin blood test
The process of prolactin blood test is similar to that of any other kind of blood test. First, the medical professional will clean the surface of your hand or arm from which he will collect the sample. Then, he will tightly secure an elastic band on the upper arm. The purpose of tying an elastic band is to ensure that your vein is visible and the medical professional can easily draw out blood from it.
After the medical professional has collected the blood, he opens the elastic band. Also, the affected area is then made to cover with a little bandage so that the blood stops oozing out. Next, he transfers the collected blood from the syringe to the vial and sends it to the lab for further testing.
What can you expect from the prolactin test?
When the medical professional has injected the syringe and is collecting a blood sample from your body, you may experience some tingling sensation. As soon as the needle is getting in your body, you may get hurt. However, this varies from person to person and their level of tolerance. These discomforts are temporary and will go away within the next two days. If you are bothered about any risk that the prolactin test can cause then please don’t be. There is nothing to be afraid of from a prolactin blood test. It is completely safe. However, to get accurate results, follow the rules that have been mentioned earlier in this blog.
Treatment for high prolactin levels in the body
Generally, there are two common medicines that doctors prescribe to people with high levels of prolactin. They are cabergoline and bromocriptine. Initially, medical professionals used to stick to bromocriptine. However, with time, researchers found that bromocriptine yields some side effects that are unhealthy for the human body. So, lately, they shifted to cabergoline as it is a safer option.
Never take these medicines without consulting your doctor. This is because everyone’s bodily needs are different. Therefore, what works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. consistent treatment can bring down your level of prolactin in the body.
Now that you are aware of a prolactin blood test, it is time for you to check if you are suffering from the same. The prolactin test price will vary from place to place. However, it is nothing beyond the reach of human capacity.