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Prolactin does not cause osteoporosis in presence of oestrogen

Today was the day that I went to see the endocrinologist at St Vincent’s Hospital. The public health system in Australia is clearly under quite a bit of pressure. The Red Room was filled to the absolute brim with people waiting for a variety of specialists in different fields of medicine. People were called up pretty quickly though, and within an hour or so my name was called.

My doctor quickly put my mind to ease with regard to prolactin and osteoporosis. She said that as long as I am getting my periods semi or mainly regularly, this indicates that my levels of oestrogen are high enough. Contrary to the advice of both my GP and psychiatrist, high prolactin is not an issue at all.

I do kind of question this a little. In my previous post on this subject I cited a piece of research that showed that people who take antipsychotic medication do have more fractures and less bone density than the norm. I am not entirely convinced that high prolactin is actually nothing to really be worried about. Although she did say that if my level was about 1000 (the upper norm is 600), then for some people who have tumours on their pituitary gland, they can have prolactin levels of up to 20,000 or 30,000. She suggested that while I am still getting my periods, this is fine, even if it gets up to 1500 – 2000, it is okay. If my oestrogen drops, that is when we need to worry about prolactin. She also seemed to suggest that once I have got through menopause, prolactin would not be an issue then either. I am a little bit dubious, I have to say, but I guess she must know. She is not some quack. She is an endocrinologist!

In other news, the doctor also said that I am not in peri-menopause. My oestrogen levels are good and I am still ostensibly fertile, even if I am taking this medication. (Is that really true?) This was good news for me. It makes me feel as though my body is working as it should and I am not on the brink of that change of life, which can be so challenging for so many women.

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