Hypopituitarism is a rare condition in which the pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. The pituitary is a gland situated at the base of your brain. Pituitary is known as the master gland because it controls the activity of most of the other hormone secreting glands. Hypopituitarism leads to deficiency in hormones that can affect numerous body functions.
Various conditions can lead to hypopituitarism.
- Pituitary gland tumour
- Certain medications
- Brain surgery
- Head injuries
- Brain infections
- Inflammatory diseases
- Radiation treatment
- Inflammation in pituitary gland
- Excessive loss of blood during childbirth
Symptoms vary widely for hypopituitarism depending on the affected gland and its severity. The functions of the affected glands get impaired progressively as the condition gets worsened.
- Growth hormone
- Growth problems
- Short stature
- Muscle weakness
- Thyroid stimulating hormone
Symptoms of hypothyroidism including:
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Sensitivity to cold
- Joint pain
- Antidiuretic hormone
- Extreme thirst
- More frequent urination
- Delayed puberty
- Loss of libido or sex drive
- Mood swings
- Erectile dysfunction
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent infections
- Prolactin deficiency causes a lower quantity of breast milk.
Diagnostic procedures for hypopituitarism includes:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Blood tests
- Brain imaging procedures such as MRI
- Dynamic testing
There are no proper preventive measures for hypopituitarism. Awareness programs can help in early identification and treatment, which prevents the condition from worsening.
Medication is the major treatment option for hypopituitarism. The medications might have to be taken lifelong to maintain the hormone balance.
- Medications including corticosteroids to replace adrenal hormones and other drugs to replace growth hormones, fertility hormones, sex hormones and other hormones may be prescribed by your doctor as per the body’s requirement.
- Surgery may be required in cases like pituitary tumours in order to remove them.
- Radiation therapy is also used to destroy tumour cells.
- Regular monitoring is important to check your hormone levels to make necessary changes in the treatment plan.
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