Problems with the Pituitary Gland
- Posted on: Jan 15 2017
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, problems with the pituitary gland are one of our specialties. Patients with pituitary tumors and other issues often need replacement of hormones and consistent monitoring of their levels. Such attention and successful regulation can allow the patient to lead a normal, healthy life.
What is the pituitary gland?
For such an important function, the pituitary gland is tiny. This pea-sized gland at the base of your brain is known as the “master control gland,” in charge of making hormones that affect growth and the functions of other glands in the body. The hormones that aren’t produced in the pituitary are produced in other glands after stimulation by the pituitary.
These hormones are made in the anterior (front) of the pituitary:
- Prolactin — Prolactin stimulates breast milk production after childbirth. It also affects sex hormone levels in female ovaries and male testes.
- Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) — ACTH stimulates the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands, small glands that sit atop the kidneys. Cortisol helps maintain blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
- Grow hormone (GH) — During childhood, this hormone stimulates growth. In adults, it helps maintain muscle and bone mass, along with fat distribution
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) — This stimulates the thyroid gland to produce the hormones that regulate metabolism, energy, growth, and activity in the nervous system.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) — LH stimulates testosterone production in men and ovulation in men.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) — FSM is involved with sperm production in men and estrogen and egg development in women.
The development of tumors is the most common problem with the pituitary. Fairly common in adults, they are almost always benign. These are not “brain” tumors. It’s what the tumors do that is the problem. There are two kinds, secretory and non-secretory. Secretory tumors cause too much or a certain hormone to be produced. Either type of tumor can be a problem when it becomes large enough to interfere with the normal function of the pituitary gland.
These problems usually can be categorized three ways:
- Hypersecretion — Too much of any hormone in the body is caused by a secretory pituitary tumor.
- Hyposecretion — Too little of any hormone in the body can be due to the presence of a large pituitary tumor. This can result from injury, surgery, or radiation or a tumor.
- Effects of the tumor size — When a pituitary tumor grows and begins to press against the gland or other areas in the brain problems such as headaches or issues with vision can occur.
Schedule A Consultation
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, we can test for and diagnose problems with your pituitary gland. This can be the source of many other problems in the body due to hormones that are out of balance. Trust our expertise when you’re searching for answers. Call us for an appointment, 212-772-7628.
Posted in: Pituitary Gland