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Enlargement of the Pituitary Gland


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Feb 2021| Content last modified Feb 2021
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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 or tissues into action. The pituitary gland puts out many different hormones. Each pituitary hormone controls a different gland and body function.

Locating the Pituitary Gland

Locating the Pituitary Gland

What is enlargement of the pituitary gland?

Enlargement of the pituitary gland is when a normal pituitary gland becomes bigger in size for some reason. The change in size can cause your pituitary gland to make too much or too little of certain hormones.

A large pituitary may also push on the nerves that connect your eyes to your brain and cause vision problems.

What causes enlargement of the pituitary gland?

Causes of a large pituitary gland include:

  • A pituitary tumor (most common cause)

  • Bleeding into the pituitary gland

  • Other diseases or infections, such as tuberculosis

What are the symptoms of an enlarged pituitary gland?

Symptoms of a large pituitary gland include:

  • Headaches

  • Loss of vision, usually in both eyes and in the upper, outer part of your sight

How can doctors tell if my pituitary gland is enlarged?

Doctors test for a large pituitary gland using:

  • CT scan or MRI of the head

  • Blood tests of hormone levels

How do doctors treat an enlarged pituitary gland?

Doctors treat the problem that caused your pituitary gland to get bigger. If you have a tumor, they usually remove the tumor surgically. Sometimes you'll have to take replacement hormones after the surgery.

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