What are the signs of pituitary problems?

Pituitary symptoms occur as a result of changes in the amount of various hormones that are excreted by the pituitary gland. Pituitary symptoms may be caused by too much or too little of the different types of hormones or by imbalances among them. Symptoms may also result from pressure exerted on structures surrounding the pituitary, such as the optic nerve, by tumor or swelling.

Pituitary symptoms can affect anyone at any age. Pituitary symptoms may be nonspecific, occurring in association with many different medical conditions, or they may be the result of a growth in or around the pituitary gland. If you think you have pituitary symptoms, it is important for you to discuss them promptly with your doctor.

The pituitary gland is a small structure that sits between the top of the nose and the base of the brain. It secretes a variety of important hormones, including adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone (GH), prolactin, gonadotropins (FSH and LH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). These hormones perform a wide range of essential tasks in your body, and pituitary symptoms vary widely, depending on which hormones are involved.

Many tumors that cause pituitary symptoms are benign (not associated with cancer) and can be removed surgically. Pituitary symptoms can also be the result of other illnesses not associated with tumors. Many pituitary tumors are so small that they cause only mild symptoms or none at all, and they may not require treatment.

Seek prompt medical care if you experience any pituitary symptoms or are concerned about the possibility of a pituitary tumor. Seek immediate medical care (call 911)for serious symptoms, such as change in level of consciousness, chest pain or tightness, or loss of vision, as these could be signs of a life-threatening condition.


SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of pituitary symptoms?

Pituitary symptoms are caused by a wide variety of conditions. Symptoms tend to occur in groups depending on what type of pituitary hormone is being excessively produced or whether a pituitary tumor is pressing on tissue surrounding the pituitary gland.

Common symptoms of any pituitary tumor or growth

Any pituitary tumor that secretes excess levels of a hormone or compr... Read more about pituitary symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes pituitary symptoms?

Pituitary symptoms are caused by multiple possible conditions. First, a tumor of cells that make a specific pituitary hormone can cause excess secretion of that hormone. Second, a tumor of cells near the pituitary gland can press on the gland, causing release of pituitary hormones. Third, a tumor in or near the pituitary gland can press on and impair the nerves responsible for vision or control... Read more about pituitary symptomscauses

TREATMENTS

How are pituitary symptoms treated?

Most pituitary tumors are not malignant and usually do not spread. However, tumor growth can compress surrounding tissue and continue to secrete high levels of pituitary hormones. Surgery is often necessary to remove the tumor. In some cases, the pituitary tumor is small and does not cause any symptoms, so treatment is deferred. Some specific types of pituitary symptoms can be treated with medi... Read more about pituitary symptomstreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Diabetes and the Endocrine System


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