Your pituitary gland is very controlling. It excrete hormones that dictate your growth and regulates the function of other glands, which in turn causes many of your body’s processes. The health master for your well being.
A pituitary tumor is the most common cause for unleashing this health promoting commander. If your pituitary gland’s balance of hormones gets out of control, you can experience a myriad of unpleasant symptoms.
You may find yourself challenged with stuff like:
- moon face
- puffy eyes
- skin changes
- nasal drainage
- lowered sex drive
- nausea & vomiting
- altered personality
- drastic weight gain
- low blood pressure
- sense of smell issues
- unintentional weight loss
- temperature sensitivity ~ hot & cold
- men ~ breast development, impotence
- enlarged hands, feet, jaw, tongue, facial bones
- children ~ slowed growth & sexual development
- vision problems ~ double vision & droopy eye lids
- women ~ amenorrhea, unwanted body hair, nipple discharge
- growth hormone (GH)
- luteinizing hormone (LH) ~ regulates menstrual cycle & sperm production
- follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) ~ promotes sperm production & stimulates ovulation
- antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) ~ regulates water balance, too little can cause diabetes insipidus
- thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) ~ stimulates thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, energy, growth & nervous system activity
- adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) ~ stimulates adrenal gland cortisol (stress hormone) production, helps maintain blood pressure & blood glucose levels
So if a fairly common, usually non-cancerous, pituitary tumor enters the mix, this endocrine gland’s normal function can be drastically affected. How drastic depends on whether the growth is:
- non functioning ~ does not produce hormones
- functioning ~ produces one or more hormones in excess
Most pituitary tumors are the functioning type tumors. And an excess of hormone causes symptoms of endocrine disorders, like:
- excess TSH ~ hyperthyroidism
- excess prolactin ~ prolactinoma
- excess ACHT ~ Cushing syndrome
- excess GH ~ gigantism, acromegaly
Pituitary tumors are not brain tumors, and very rarely are they malignant.
Non secretory tumors cause problems because of their large size, interfering with normal function of the pituitary gland. This form of abnormal growth causes endocrine related symptoms as well.
If you have a pituitary tumor without impairment to your health, then you likely won’t require treatment. On the other hand, if your tumor causes an endocrine disorder or other related symptoms, the treatment may consist of:
- drug therapy
- surgical removal
- radiation therapy
Life long hormone replacement may be necessary after surgical removal treatment.
If diagnosed early enough, endocrine disorders or conditions caused by pituitary tumors are routinely cured.