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by Kohnle D

(PHP; Underactive Pituitary Gland)



Compression of the Tumor

Compression of the tumor on local structures, especially the nerves of the eyes, can cause:
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of visual field
  • Poor temperature control

Insufficient Hormones

  • Insufficient levels of gonadotropins can cause:
  • Insufficient levels of growth hormone can cause:
    • In children: stunted growth or dwarfism
    • In adults: weakness, obesity , reduced cardiac output, low blood sugar levels, and reduced exercise tolerance
  • Insufficient levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones can lead to:
    • Underactive thyroid , which causes confusion, hair loss, weakness, slow heart rate, muscle stiffness, intolerance to cold, constipation , weight gain, and dry skin
  • Insufficient corticotrophic levels can lead to:
    • Underactive adrenal gland, which causes low blood pressure, low blood sugar , fatigue, weight loss, vomiting, and low stress tolerance—This can be life-threatening.
  • Excessive prolactin levels can cause:
    • In women: missed periods, infertility, and milk secretion
    • In men: reduced facial and body hair, small testes
  • Insufficient antidiuretic hormone (rare) can cause:
    • Excessive thirst and frequent urination
    • Night-time urination


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
  • MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
  • Blood tests—Blood tests—to measure pituitary, as well as target gland hormone levels
  • Stimulation tests—to test the maximum capacity of the endocrine glands, usually of the pituitary gland
  • Semen analysis—in males suspected of infertility


The Hormone Foundation

The Pituitary Network



About Kids Health

Health Canada



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Diabetes & other endocrine and metabolic disorders: hypopituitarism. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital website. Available at: . Accessed May 30, 2007.

Geffner M. Panhypopituitarism. The Magic Foundation website. Available at: . Accessed May 30, 2007.

Randeva HS, Schoebel J, Byrne J, et al. Classical pituitary apoplexy: clinical features, management and outcome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) . 1999;51:181-188.

Schneider HJ, Aimaretti G, Kreitschmann-Andermahr I, et al. Hypopituitarism. Lancet. 2007;269:1461-1470.

Toogood AA, Stewart PM. Hypopituitarism: clinical features, diagnosis, and management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1998;37:235-261

What is a growth disorder? Nemours Foundation website. Available at: . Accessed May 30, 2007.


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