Serious Symptoms Of A Prolactinoma

Prolactinoma is a condition characterized by an excess amount of a hormone called prolactin in the body as the result of a nonmalignant tumor in the pituitary gland. The most prevalent type of hormone-producing adenoma to develop in an individual's pituitary gland is prolactinoma. The cause is currently not known, but risk factors include being female and being between twenty and thirty-four years old. A prolactinoma diagnosis is made with the help of blood testing, MRI imaging, vision tests, and a full endocrine workup. 

The treatment focuses around reverting the prolactin production to normal, reestablishing normal function of the pituitary gland, decreasing the size of the pituitary tumor, relieving tumor-pressure precipitated symptoms, and improving quality of life. These treatment goals are accomplished using medication to decrease prolactin production, surgery to remove all or part of the tumor, or radiation therapy.

Excessive Or Decreased Body And Facial Hair

Prolactinoma patients may experience excessive or decreased body and facial hair. We know this condition causes individuals to have higher than normal levels of prolactin in the body. Prolactin has certain effects on the receptors located on the cells that produce testosterone and estrogen, the sex hormones found in the testicles and ovaries. This mechanism results in a general decrease in the levels of testosterone and estrogen in the body. Hair follicles in men are known to have an increased sensitivity to testosterone level changes due to certain genetic factors in the tissue. 

Some individuals may experience the symptom of decreased body and facial hair because the hormonal changes cause the hair follicle to shrink. When the hair follicle shrinks to a smaller size, it becomes cut off from its supply of blood, causing it to stop growing and fall out. Some women affected by a prolactinoma may experience the opposite effect, with excessive growth of hair on the scalp and body.

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