Hypopituitarism Causes | Symptoms | Treatment | Diagnosis | preventions
What is Hypopituitarism ? Hypopituitarism is an uncommon health condition where the pituitary gland does not produce hormones or fails to do so in sufficient amounts. The pituitary is an important endocrine gland, located at the bottom of the brain, responsible for secretion of hormones that influence almost every body part. Hypopituitarismis marked by less production of pituitary hormones. This low production hampers many body functions like, blood pressure, reproduction and growth.
Causes of Hypopituitarism • Head injuries • Brain or pituitary tumors • Brain surgery • Radiation treatment • Autoimmune inflammation (hypophysitis) • Stroke • Infections of the brain, such as meningitis • Tuberculosis • Severe loss of blood during childbirth, which may cause damage to the front part of the pituitary gland (Sheehan syndrome or postpartum pituitary necrosis) • Genetic mutations resulting in impaired pituitary hormone production
Symptoms of Hypopituitarism • Tiredness • Weight Loss • Limited sex drive • Increased sensitivity to cold • Loss of appetite • Iron deficiency • Infertility • Irregular periods, hot flashes, loss of pubic hair, less milk production in breastfeeding women • Loss of body or facial hair in men • Short height of children
Diagnosis of Hypopituitarism • Blood tests can help detect faults in hormones. They can easily discover low levels of thyroid, sex hormones and tell if these low levels are associated with insufficient pituitary hormone production. • Stimulation or dynamic testing test the body's secretion of hormones after you've taken certain medications that might have hampered the hormone production. • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) can easily identify a pituitary tumor. • Vision tests can verify if growth of apituitary tumor has an effect on your vision.
Treatment of Hypopituitarism • Oral Corticosteroids replace the adrenal hormones that are not being produces because of a defiant ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). • Levothyroxinereplaces faulty thyroid hormone levels caused by low TSH production. • Sex hormones include testosterone(men) and a combination of estrogen and progesterone(women). Testosterone levels are checked through the skin with a patch, gel or injection. Estrogen levels are checked with pills, gels or patches. • Growth hormone helps children achieve normal height. Those (adults) who have a growth hormone deficiency may benefit from growth hormone replacement, but their height will not increase.
Preventions of Hypopituitarism Hypopituitarism occurring after delivery can be minimized by taking proper obstetric care. For known patients of hypopituitarism, regular monitoring and dose adjustment during periods of stress, infections may be required; so regular follow-up is essential. Being prepared for emergency situations can help to prevent adverse outcomes. It is worth to consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or carrying an identity card with details of disorder and medicines.
Risk factors of Hypopituitarism • History of childhood cancer—some treatments can damage the pituitary • Infections • Genetics • Type 1 diabetes • Sickle cell anemia • Reduced blood volume or hypovolemia
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