Galactorrhea is a milky nipple discharge unrelated to the normal milk production of breast-feeding. Galactorrhea itself isn't a disease, but it could be a sign of an underlying problem. It usually occurs in women, even those who have never had children or after menopause. But galactorrhea can happen in men and even in infants.
Excessive breast stimulation, medication side effects or disorders of the pituitary gland all may contribute to galactorrhea. Often, galactorrhea results from increased levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk production.
Sometimes, the cause of galactorrhea can't be determined. The condition may resolve on its own.
SYMPTOMS OF GALACTORRHEA
Signs and symptoms associated with galactorrhea include:
- Persistent or intermittent milky nipple discharge
- Nipple discharge involving multiple milk ducts
- Spontaneously leaked or manually expressed nipple discharge
- One or both breasts affected
- Absent or irregular menstrual periods
- Headaches or vision problems
CAUSES OF GALACTORRHEA
Galactorrhea often results from having too much prolactin — the hormone responsible for milk production when you have a baby. Prolactin is produced by your pituitary gland, a small bean-shaped gland at the base of your brain that secretes and regulates several hormones.
Possible causes of galactorrhea include:
- Medications, such as certain sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics and high blood pressure drugs
- Opioid use
- Herbal supplements, such as fennel, anise or fenugreek seed
- Birth control pills
- A noncancerous pituitary tumor (prolactinoma) or other disorder of the pituitary gland
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Excessive breast stimulation, which may be associated with sexual activity, frequent breast self-exams with nipple manipulation or prolonged clothing friction
- Nerve damage to the chest wall from chest surgery, burns or other chest injuries
- Spinal cord surgery, injury or tumors
Sometimes doctors can't find a cause for galactorrhea. This is called idiopathic galactorrhea, and it may just mean that your breast tissue is particularly sensitive to the milk-producing hormone prolactin in your blood. If you have increased sensitivity to prolactin, even normal prolactin levels can lead to galactorrhea.
GALACTORRHEA IN MEN
In males, galactorrhea may be associated with testosterone deficiency (male hypogonadism) and usually occurs with breast enlargement or tenderness (gynecomastia). Erectile dysfunction and a lack of sexual desire also are associated with testosterone deficiency.
GALACTORRHEA IN NEWBORNS
Galactorrhea sometimes occurs in newborns. High maternal estrogen levels cross the placenta into the baby's blood. This can cause enlargement of the baby's breast tissue, which may be associated with a milky nipple discharge. This milky discharge is temporary and resolves on its own. If the discharge is persistent, the newborn should be evaluated by a doctor.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR GALACTORRHEA
Pulsatilla – Top grade medicine for galactorrhea cases
Pulsatilla is a natural medicine prepared from plant Pulsatilla Nigricans commonly known as wind flower and pasque flower. This entire fresh plant when in flower is used to prepare homeopathic medicine. This plant belongs to family ranunculaceae. It is a top listed medicine for treating cases of galactorrhea. Its use is indicated when non pregnant females have milk in breast along with marked fullness of breast. The females needing it may also have menstrual irregularities along with this. The menses can occur too late or too early in them. The menstrual flow also varies from scanty to profuse. The menstrual blood can be thick, clotted or thin and can be black coloured. It is a top listed medicine to treat cases where milk like fluid starts to flow from the breasts of girls before puberty.
Asafoetida – For Galactorrhea with Congested Breast
This medicine is prepared from gum resin obtained by incision from the living root of Asafoetida plant. This plant belongs to the family umbelliferae. This is a very helpful medicine when there is milk secretion in a non pregnant woman. Along with this the breasts are congested and distended.
Merc Sol – For Milk Fluid Secretion during Menses
Merc Sol is a prominently indicated medicine for females who are full breast with milk during menses. They also have pain in the breast with this. Sometimes they have milk in the breast instead of menses. It is one of the leading medicines for galactorrhea in females during puberty. Apart from above it is also indicated for boys who complain of galactorrhea.
Cyclamen – When Milk Flow Occurs after Menses
Cyclamen is a natural medicine prepared from the root of plant Cyclamen Europaeum commonly known as sow – bread. This plant belongs to family primulaceae. The indicating feature to use it is milk in non pregnant females after menses. Along with this the breast is also swollen. In some cases the breast is painful, hard having a stitching sensation in it along with discharge of milky fluid. In some cases needing it menstrual irregularities may be present. This can be attended with headache, blindness or fiery spots before the eyes.
Borax – When Milk is Thick in Galactorrhea
It is the next well indicated medicine to treat cases of galactorrhea. Its use is suggested when the discharged milk is too thick. It is also very profuse. Females needing it may also have low sex drive. Apart from above infertility issues may also be present in females who require it.
Belladonna – For Heaviness and Hardness of Breast
Belladonna is a natural medicine prepared from a plant named Deadly Nightshade. This plant belongs to family solanaceae. It is also a beneficial medicine when the milk fills in the breasts of females who are not pregnant. The milk starts flowing out of the breast in copious amounts. Along with this, there is heaviness and hardness of breast. e.t.c