The pituitary gland Overview of the Pituitary Gland The pituitary gland is a pea-sized bit of tissue at the bottom of your brain. Glands are organs that make and release hormones into your blood. Hormones are chemicals that stimulate other cells... read more is a pea-sized bit of tissue at the bottom of your brain. Glands are organs that make and release hormones into your blood. Hormones are chemicals that stimulate other cells or tissues into action. The pituitary gland puts out many different hormones. Each one controls different other glands and body functions.
Locating the Pituitary Gland
What is hypopituitarism?
"Hypo" means too little or not enough. Hypopituitarism is when your pituitary gland doesn't make enough of one or more pituitary hormones What are pituitary hormones? The pituitary gland is a pea-sized bit of tissue at the bottom of your brain. Glands are organs that make and release hormones into your blood. Hormones are chemicals that stimulate other cells... read more .
Hypopituitarism is uncommon
Causes of hypopituitarism include tumors in your pituitary gland, not enough blood supply to your pituitary gland, or certain diseases
Symptoms usually start slowly over time and vary depending on which hormones you don't have enough of
Doctors treat the cause of hypopituitarism and give you medicine to raise your hormone levels
What causes hypopituitarism?
Causes of hypopituitarism include:
A head injury
Certain types of brain surgery
Lack of blood flow to the pituitary gland, because of bleeding or a blood clot
Some types of cancer medical treatment, or radiation to the brain for a brain tumor
Sometimes there's a problem with only one pituitary hormone. Other times, you have a problem with many or all of the hormones.
What are the symptoms of hypopituitarism?
Symptoms usually start little by little. Which symptoms you have depend on which hormones you lack.
Symptoms can include:
In children, lack of growth
In women, lack of menstrual periods and vaginal dryness
In men, shrinking testicles and erectile dysfunction
Confusion, weight gain, and constipation
Weakness, low blood sugar, and feeling stressed
Not being able to make breast milk after having a baby
How can doctors tell if I have hypopituitarism?
Doctors may suspect hypopituitarism when you have problems with other glands, such as the thyroid gland Overview of the Thyroid Gland Your thyroid is a gland below the Adam’s apple in the front of your neck. Glands make and release hormones. Hormones stimulate other cells or tissues into action. The thyroid makes thyroid hormones... read more . They'll do tests, such as:
Blood tests to measure your hormone levels
CT scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more or MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) MRI is a test that uses a machine with a powerful magnet to make pictures of the inside of your body. A computer records changes in the magnetic field around your body. The computer then uses... read more of your brain to look for changes to your pituitary
Sometimes, tests to check blood flow to your pituitary
How do doctors treat hypopituitarism?
Doctors treat hypopituitarism with:
Treatment for whatever is causing your hypopituitarism (for example, surgery or radiation to remove or destroy a pituitary tumor)
Replacing the hormones your pituitary isn't making enough of