Hypopituitarism: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Posted: May 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

What Is an Underactive Pituitary Gland?

Your pituitary gland is located just below your brain. It releases eight hormones that each plays its own role in your body processes. Functions range from stimulating bone growth to prompting your thyroid gland to release hormones that control your metabolism.

Hormones produced by the pituitary gland include:

Sometimes, your pituitary gland does not release enough of one or more of these hormones. This underactivity is called hypopituitarism.

Your pituitary gland may stop producing enough of one or more of its hormones if it has suffered trauma. For example, if you have had brain surgery, a brain infection, or a head injury, your pituitary gland may be affected.

Certain tumors can also affect the function of this gland. These include:

Other possible causes of hypopituitarism include:

Sometimes, doctors cant figure out what caused a particular case of hypopituitarism.

The symptoms of hypopituitarism depend on which hormones your pituitary gland is not producing enough of. For example, if the pituitary does not produce enough growth hormone in a child, he or she may have a permanently short stature. Alternately, if it doesnt produce enough follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone, it might cause problems with sexual function, menstruation, and fertility.

In some cases, you may not have any symptoms at all. For example, if you are an adult and your pituitary gland does not produce enough growth hormone, you will probably not notice because you have already finished growing. In children, however, this condition is far more noticeable.

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Hypopituitarism: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

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