What are the Symptoms and Treatment for Underactive Pituitary Gland

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
    • Oxytocin
    • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
    • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
    • Prolactin hormone
  • When these glands malfunction, these could become underactive and have a decreased secretion of hormones.
    One or more of the hormones might be affected, causing a variety of problems in the body. This ailment is known as hypopituitarism.
  • 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
  • Nausea
  • 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.
    This is something that is clearly visible especially if the patient belongs to a family of tall people.
  • Women could experience:
    • Infertility
    • 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:
    • Thyroxine
    • Estrogen
    • Testosterone
    • Growth hormone
  • Surgery may also be an option.

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