Symptoms and Signs of Hypopituitary

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Medically Reviewed on 10/19/2021

Doctor's Notes on Hypopituitary

Hypopituitarism (hypopituitary) is a condition in which the pituitary gland (a small gland at the base of the brain) does not produce one or more of its hormones or not enough of them to function normally. Hormones produced by the pituitary include prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone (GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH); each hormone has its particular effects.

In addition, the condition may reduce ADH levels resulting in increased thirst and urination.

Causes of hypopituitarism have been linked to tumors, radiation exposures, surgery, meningitis, and other diseases. In many individuals with the condition, the causes are not known.

What Are the Treatments for Hypopituitarism?

The main treatments for hypopituitarism are medications to replace hormones that the pituitary gland has slowed or stopped producing or influencing, given by mouth, patch, or injection, with the goal of returning the patient's hormone levels to normal levels:

Pituitary tumors are treated by surgical removal and radiation. Other medications may be added to control underlying causes.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.