Abnormal Pituitary

Also known as: Abnormal pituitary gland, pituitary gland disorders, pituitary disorders

What is abnormal pituitary?

The pituitary gland is a tiny, pea-sized organ found at the base of the brain. It serves as a sort of control panel for the other glands of the body, producing and storing hormones and prompting others glands to make hormones as needed. These affect the way the body responds to stress, how it grows, sexual maturation, energy metabolism and its ability to defend itself against a variety of insults. When a person has an abnormal pituitary, it produces either too much or too little of a particular hormone, which can lead to a number of other disorders.


What causes abnormal pituitary? 

A benign (non-malignant/ not cancerous) pituitary tumor is the most common pituitary disorder. In young children, an underdeveloped pituitary may be the result of a genetic disorder. Rare causes include a traumatic brain injury, radiation, bleeding into the pituitary gland or infections.


What are the symptoms of abnormal pituitary? 

Depending on whether the pituitary is enlarged (when it can cause pressure in on other brain tissue and cause headaches, dizziness or vision problems), or whether it is producing too much or too little of one or more hormones, symptoms will vary. Some common problems include problems with growth and development, weight loss or gain, sexual dysfunction, weakness, nausea and vomiting, menstrual problems, high blood pressure, acne, depression and multiple other symptoms.


What are abnormal pituitary care options? 

Depending on the cause, and its effects, medications to replace or regulate the production of a specific hormone/s abnormality (or abnormalities) may be required. Treatments to shrink the tumor (if present) including radiation therapy or surgical removal may be necessary. 

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 10/31/2017 11:56:21 AM

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