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Hypopituitarism Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is hypopituitarism?

The rare disorder hypopituitarism occurs when pituitary gland tends to produce insufficient amount of hormone or does not produce its hormones at all. Pituitary gland is positioned at the bottom of the brain, between the ears and at the back of our nose. This bean-shaped gland produce hormones which tends to influence almost all part of our body.

Person with hypopituitarism experiences inadequate supply of either single or more of the hormones excreted by pituitary gland. Such deficiency tends to affect your blood pressure and growth. Patients of hypopituitarism need drugs for their entire life in order to control its symptoms.

What are the symptoms of hypopituitarism?

Often, the condition is progressive. Often, its symptoms develop slowly. At times, they are mild enough to be noted for months. Common symptoms of hypopituitarism are:

  • Anemia.
  • Facial puffiness.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Infertility.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Short stature (children).
  • Sensitivity to cold.
  • No or irregular periods.
  • Decreased body or facial hair (males).

When is the high time to consult a doctor?

In case you notice the above mentioned signs and symptoms of hypopituitarism, consult your doctor. If the symptoms develop all of a sudden, for example visual disturbances, extreme low blood pressure, headache etc, rush to the nearest hospital for immediate medical attention, as these signs indicate towards rapid bleeding into your pituitary gland.

What causes hypopituitarism?

Inherited disorders may consequent the condition; however, more often hypopituitarism is acquired. Usually, it is caused due to a tumor formed in pituitary gland. In addition to this, as the size of tumor increases, it tends to damage and compress the tissue of pituitary, interfering with the making of hormone. Other events and diseases cal also contribute in triggering the condition:

  • Brain surgery.
  • Radiation treatment.
  • Pituitary or brain tumors.
  • Head injuries.
  • Hypophysitis.
  • Brain infections for example meningitis.
  • Stroke.
  • Infiltrative diseases.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Genetic mutation that worsens the production of pituitary hormone.

In certain instances, the cause tends to remain a mystery.

How is hypopituitarism diagnosed?

In case the doctor doubts a pituitary disorder, then he will suggest certain tests in order to find out the levels of different hormones in the body. These tests include:

  • Dynamic of stimulation testing.
  • Blood tests.
  • Vision tests.
  • Brain imaging.

How is hypopituitarism treated?

Treating the causal condition efficiently can lead a partial or complete recovery of the pituitary hormones production. Initially, the condition is treated using correct hormones. Basically, these drugs act as a ‘replacement’ of the hormones your body failed to produce due to pituitary problem. The treatment of hypopitutarism may continue for lifetime.

Pituitary tumors can be treated through surgery that involves eliminating its growth. In certain cases, doctors can suggest radiation treatment.

For hormone replacement, the doctor can prescribe the following:

  • Corticosteroids.
  • Levothyroxine.
  • Estrogen.
  • Growth hormone.
  • Combination of progesterone and estrogen.

By : Natural Health News


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