Updated: September 29, 2019
Hypopituitarism is a rare disorder of pituitary gland in which it either fails to produce one or more of its hormones or doesn't produce enough of them. The pituitary gland is a small bean-shaped gland located at the base of your brain, behind your nose and between your ears. It releases eight hormones that influence nearly every part of your body.
Your body function depends on each of these hormones in several ways. These functions could be stimulating bone growth, prompting your thyroid gland to release hormones that control your metabolism, blood pressure and reproduction.
The different hormones that effects function of your body include:
This hormone triggers cortisol production and the chemical reaction that makes your body produce adrenaline and noradrenaline.
It controls your blood pressure and conserves the fluids in your body.
It regulates the production of hormones in the thyroid that control your metabolism and many other activities in your body.
This hormone is necessary for the growth of children as well as it maintains body structure and metabolism in adults.
It is responsible for fertility, puberty, and menstruation in women.
It stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in women and sperm production in men.
This hormone is responsible for fertility, puberty, and menstruation in women.
This is important in childbirth and lactation. It may also play a large role in human behavior.
It has over 300 uses in the body.
When your pituitary gland does not release enough of one or more of these hormones, you will have hypopituitarism. Your symptoms can be controlled by particular medication, but you will need these medications for the rest of your life to treat hypopituitarism.
Signs and symptoms of hypopituitarism vary, depending on which pituitary hormones are deficient or which hormones your pituitary gland is not producing enough of. For example it might cause problems with sexual function, menstruation, and fertility if it doesn't produce enough follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone.
So the symptoms may include:
All of these symptoms can occur suddenly, but more often they develop gradually. They are sometimes subtle and may be overlooked for months or even years.
The most common cause of pituitary gland to stop producing enough of one or more of its hormones is trauma which include either a brain surgery, a brain infection, or a head injury.
Certain tumors can also affect the function of this gland. These include:
As a pituitary tumor increases in size, it can compress and damage pituitary tissue, interfering with hormone production. A tumor can also compress the optic nerves, causing visual disturbances.
The hypothalamus produces hormones of its own that directly affect the activity of the pituitary. The presence of tumor in hypothalamus, which is a portion of the brain situated just above the pituitary, also can cause hypopituitarism.
Other possible causes of hypopituitarism include:
The cause of hypopituitarism is unknown sometimes.