Munson Health
 
Hypopituitarism

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by Martin JJ

(Pituitary Insufficiency)

 

Causes

There are several factors which may cause this condition:
 

Symptoms

Compression of the tumor on local structures, especially the nerves of the eyes, can cause:
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of visual field
  • Poor temperature control
Symptoms often begin gradually and are not specific since hormones control a variety of body functions. They may not be recognized for a while. Specific symptoms will depend on the type and level of hormone affected. For example:
  • Growth hormone deficiency:
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone deficiency:
    • Sensitivity to cold
    • Weight gain
    • Constipation
    • Hair that is brittle and coarse
    • Slow heart rate
    • Dry skin
    • Muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency:
    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Weight loss
    • Decrease in skin pigmentation
    • The absence of a menstrual period in women of reproductive age
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone deficiency:
    • Infertility in men and women
    • Vaginal dryness
    • Loss of some gender-specific sexual characteristics—women may lose hair from their underarms, body, and pubic area
    • Reduced interest in sex
    • The absence of a menstrual period in women of reproductive age
    • Difficulty maintaining an erection
    • Muscle weakness
    • Small testes
    • Breast enlargement in men
 

RESOURCES

Pituitary Disorders Education and Support
http://www.pituitarydisorder.net

The Pituitary Society
http://www.pituitarysociety.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Thyroid Foundation of Canada
http://www.thyroid.ca

 

References


Hypopituitarism. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 7, 2012. Accessed February 27, 2014.


Schneider HJ, Aimaretti G , Kreitschmann-Andermahr I, et al. Hypopituitarism. Lancet. 2007;369:1461-1470.


Tomlinson JW. Association between premature mortality and hypopituitarism. West Midlands Prospective Hypopituitary Study Group. Lancet. 2001; 357:425.

 

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