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Hypopituitarism: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment of hypopituitarism

  • Posted on- Aug 25, 2015
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Hypopituitarism is an uncommon health condition where the pituitary gland does not produce hormones or fails to do so in sufficient amounts. The pituitary is an important endocrine gland, located at the bottom of the brain, responsible for secretion of hormones that influence almost every body part. Hypopituitarism is marked by less production of pituitary hormones. This low production hampers many body functions like, blood pressure, reproduction and growth.

Symptoms of Hypopituitarism

Hypopituitarism is often continuous. The signs and symptoms may appear abruptly but often develop at a slow pace. They are sophisticated and may be overlooked for years. Symptoms of hypopituitarism include:

Test and diagnosis for Hypopituitarism

If your endocrinologist suspects a pituitary disorder, he/she may opt for several tests to check levels of various hormones. The doctor will look into the matter if you’ve had a recent head injury or radiation treatment that might have unsettled the pituitary gland. Tests include:
  • Blood tests can help detect faults in hormones. They can easily discover low levels of thyroid, sex hormones and tell if these low levels are associated with insufficient pituitary hormone production.
  • Stimulation or dynamic testing test the body's secretion of hormones after you've taken certain medications that might have hampered the hormone production.
  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) can easily identify a pituitary tumor.
  • Vision tests can verify if growth of a pituitary tumor has an effect on your vision.

Treatment and drugs for Hypopituitarism

Successful treatment of hypopituitarism may lead to full or partial recovery or normal pituitary hormone production. Drugs used for the treatment match the amounts that your body would in general manufacture if it didn't have a pituitary difficulty. However, pituitary tumors require surgery and other hormone replacement medications:
  • Oral Corticosteroids replace the adrenal hormones that are not being produces because of a defiant ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone).
  • Levothyroxine replaces faulty thyroid hormone levels caused by low TSH production.
  • Sex hormones include testosterone (men) and a combination of estrogen and progesterone (women). Testosterone levels are checked through the skin with a patch, gel or injection. Estrogen levels are checked with pills, gels or patches.
  • Growth hormone helps children achieve normal height. Those (adults) who have a growth hormone deficiency may benefit from growth hormone replacement, but their height will not increase.

Your endocrinologist will adjust the dose of corticosteroids if you start to show some signs of sickness. However, he will keep a close eye on the levels of hormones in your blood to ensure you're getting sufficient amount.


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