Hypopituitarism

(Pituitary Insufficiency)

Definition

The pituitary gland is in the brain. It produces several important hormones that control the production of other hormones made by glands in the body.The pituitary gland is responsible for many body functions, including the following:
  • Growth
  • Blood pressure
  • Sex organ function
  • Thyroid gland function
  • Breast milk production and other aspects of pregnancy and birth
  • Water balance in the body
  • Some reactions to stress
Hypopituitarism is an insufficient production of one or more hormones. A problem in the pituitary can cause the amount of hormones from other glands to diminish as well.
Pituitary Gland
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Causes

There are several factors that may cause this condition:
  • Tumors of the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, or brain
  • Poor blood supply to the pituitary gland
  • Head trauma
  • Radiation therapy to pituitary gland, head, or neck
  • Stroke
  • Infections and inflammatory diseases
  • Uncommon immune system or metabolic diseases
  • A rare complication after pregnancy, called Sheehan’s syndrome
  • Metastatic cancer from lung, colon, prostate, or melanoma

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase the chance for hypopituitarism include:

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