Underactive Pituitary Gland
- The pituitary glands are responsible for the creation, release, and regulation of various hormones necessary for a number of bodily functions, including growth, breast milk production, metabolism, and development of sex organs. Such hormones include:
- Growth hormone
- Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormones
- Antidiuretic hormone
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone
- Prolactin hormone
- When these glands malfunction, these could become underactive and have a decreased secretion of hormones.
- Still, hypopituitarism is a rare ailment or could be underdiagnosed. The ailment is often underdiagnosed in patients who had been subjected to traumatic brain injury.
- Growth hormone deficiency is the most common deficiency caused by an underactive pituitary gland.
Underactive Pituitary Gland Symptoms
The following are possible symptoms of underproduction of pituitary hormones:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Abdominal pain
- Mental changes
- Poor appetite or sudden changes in appetite
- Fatigue and feeling of weakness or fatigue
- Persistent headaches
- Low blood pressure
- Vision changes
- Weight loss which could be sudden and unexplainable
- Children who have hypopituitarism may also experience delayed sexual development. This could also mean lack of secondary sexual features that appear during puberty, such as:
- Growth of pubic hair
- Breast development in women
- Voice changes (often in men)
- If the deficiency is in the growth hormones, the patient will have a stunted growth.
- Women could experience:
- Changes in menstrual period
- Failure to produce milk
- Hot flashes
Early detection of the symptoms could help provide the necessary treatment. Thus, if the patient lacks growth hormones, supplementation will help prevent stunted growth.
Underactive Pituitary Gland Treatment
- The treatment procedures done to correct problems of the production of hormones by the pituitary gland would differ, depending on a lot of factors. Still, determining the underlying cause as well as the specific hormone that is underproduced will help determine the proper treatment.
- In most cases, hormone replacement therapy will be done to replenish the hormones that have been determined to be lacking from the patient.
- Hormone replacement therapy is done to correct levels of:
- Growth hormone
- Surgery may also be an option.