Galactorrhea: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Galactorrhea occurs when discharge like milk or milk comes out of your nipples. It is different from regular milk secretion that occurs during and after pregnancy. Although it can affect all sexes, it occurs more frequently in women aged 20 to 35 years of age.
Unexpectedly seeing what looks like milk coming out of your nipples, it is often nothing to worry about. But in rare cases, this may be an indication of the underlying condition for which treatment is required.
What are the symptoms of Galactorrhea?
The main symptom of Galactorrhea is a white substance derived from your nipple.
It can discharge:
• Occasionally or almost continuous leakage
• Come out of one or both nipples
• Bulk range from light
Depending on the underlying cause, you may have other symptoms.
What causes Galactorrhea?
Many things can cause Galactorrhea in all sexes. Keep in mind that some people have doctors called idiopathic galactoria. It is Galactoria for no apparent reason. Your breast tissue may be more sensitive to some hormones.
Galactorrhea is often caused by prolactinoma. It is a tumor that is formed in your pituitary gland. It can suppress your pituitary gland, stimulates it to produce more prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone which is largely responsible for breastfeeding.
In females, prolactinoma can also cause:
• Less or absent period
• Low libido
• Reproductive problems
• Excessive hair growth
The male may also notice:
• Low libido
• Erectile dysfunction
If it gets big enough to put pressure on the nerves in your brain near your pituitary gland, you can also see changes in persistent headache or vision.
Other tumors may also suppress your pituitary gland on the stalks, where it connects the area to the hypothalamus based on your brain. It can stop the production of dopamine. In addition to regulating your emotions, dopamine also helps to keep your prolactin levels in check as needed.
If you are not producing enough dopamine, your pituitary gland can produce too much prolactin, which results in nipple discharge.
Other causes in both sexes
Many other situations can cause you too much prolactin. Contains:
• Hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland does not work to full capacity
• Take some high blood pressure medications, such as methyldopa (aldomet)
• Chronic kidney condition
• Liver disorders, such as cirrhosis
• Some types of lung cancer
• Taking oxygen medicines, such as oxycodone (Percocet) and fentanyl (Actiq)
• Taking some antidepressants, such as paroxetine (Paxil) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram (Celexa)
• Using cocaine or marijuana
• Taking some herbal supplements, which include fennel or grain seeds
• Prokinetics for gastrointestinal conditions
• Using phenothiazines to get rid of parasites
Taking birth control pills affects the levels of different hormones, which can cause Galactorrhea in some women.
Male hypogonadism means having low testosterone. This is one of the more common causes of Galactorrhea in men. It can also cause gynecomastia, which enhances the breasts.
Galactorrhea is also often seen in newborn babies. This can be the result of the mother’s growing estrogen during pregnancy. If it enters the placenta, it can go into the blood of a child before birth. This can bring both enlarged breasts and nipple discharge.
How is Galactorrhea Diagnosed?
Galactorrhea is usually an indication of the underlying health problem, so it is important to work with the doctor to point out the reason.
They will use a combination of the following examinations and tests to diagnose:
• A complete physical your doctor will likely be able to see how your nipple responds to squeezing, and whether it is more discharge to get out of it. They can also check their breasts for any signs of tumor.
• Blood test. Testing your prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels can help reduce the probable cause.
• Lab tests of nipple discharge. If you are pregnant in the past, they can sample your nipple discharge and examine it for fat bits. This is a statement-sign sign of the Galactorrhea, which helps in separating it from breastfeeding.
• Imaging Test An MRI or CT scan can help in the investigation of prolactinoma or other tumors near your pituitary gland or check your breast tissue for unusual things. A mammogram or ultrasound can help to identify any abnormal lump or breast tissue.
• Pregnancy test If you have a chance you can get pregnant, then your doctor may want to use pregnancy test to breastfeed.
How is the Treatment of Galactorrhea?
Galactorrhea’s treatment depends on the cause. But if you have a small prolactinoma that is causing any other symptoms, then the situation can be solved by itself.
Some other possible treatments for Galactorrhea include:
• Avoid medicines due to discharge. If you think that the medication you take can cause Galactorrhea, then work with your doctor so that you can take it instead to see that there is someone else. Just make sure you stop stopping nothing, because it can cause other unexpected side effects.
• Take medication to reduce or prevent prolactin by increasing your level of dopamine. Common examples include bromocriptine (Cycloset) or cabergoline (Dostinex). These medicines can help to reduce prolactinoma and other tumors. They can also help in controlling your prolactin levels.
• Surgery to remove prolactinoma or other tumors. If the drug is not working or the tumor is too large, you may need surgery to remove it.
What is the Outlook?
Once they determine the cause, most people do complete recovery with Galactorrhea. Pituitary gland tumors are often harmless, and medication can often help them manage any symptoms. In the meantime, try to avoid doing anything which makes more nipple discharge, such as stimulating your nipples during sex or wearing tight clothes.