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Hypopituitarism - Symptoms and Treatment


Hypopituitarism is a condition caused by low levels of pituitary hormones. Hypopituitarism, an uncommon disorder, can be caused by a number of factors, including a pituitary tumor or an insufficient blood supply to the pituitary gland. In endocrinology , deficiency of one or multiple hormones of the anterior pituitary is generally referred to as hypopituitarism , while deficiency of the posterior lobe generally only leads to central diabetes insipidus . The deficiency of all anterior pituitary hormones is termed panhypopituitarism . Hypopituitarism is most often caused by a benign (i.e. not cancerous) tumour of the pituitary gland, or of the brain in the region of the Hypothalamus . Pituitary underactivity may be caused by the direct pressure of the tumour mass on the normal pituitary or by the effects of surgery or Radiotherapy used to treat the tumour. Less frequently, hypopituitarism can be caused by infections (such as meningitus) in or around the brain or by severe blood loss, by head injury, or by various rare diseases such as sarcoidosis.

Hypopituitarism is a disease of the Pituitary Gland. It does not generally manifest until more than 75% of the gland is destroyed. The pituitary is a small bean-shaped gland located at the base of your brain, somewhat behind your nose and between your ears. Despite its size, this gland secretes hormones that influence nearly every part of your body. In hypopituitarism, you have a short supply of one or more of these pituitary hormones. This deficiency can affect any number of your body's routine functions, such as growth, blood pressure and reproduction. Hypopituitarism in children is usually due to a pituitary tumor (most commonly a craniopharyngioma) or is idiopathic. The combination of lytic lesions of the bone or skull and of diabetes insipidus suggests Langerhans' cell granulomatosis. Hypothalamic or pituitary hormone deficiency as well as isolated GH deficiency may occur in patients with midline defects, such as cleft palate or septo-optic dysplasia, which involves absence of the septum pellucidum, optic nerve atrophy, and hypopituitarism. GH deficiency, either alone or in patients with other abnormalities, is hereditary in about 5% of cases. Therapeutic radiation of the CNS for various cancers causes slowing of linear growth, which can often be linked to resulting GH deficiency.

Causes of Hypopituitarism

Common Causes of Hypopituitarism :

  • Brain tumor.
  • Head injuries.
  • Stroke.
  • Infections of the brain, such as meningitis.
  • Brain surgery.

Symptoms of Hypopituitarism

Some common Symptoms of Hypopituitarism :

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Weakness.
  • Sensitivity to cold.
  • Visual disturbances.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Headache .

Treatment of Hypopituitarism

  • Replacement hormone therapy.
  • Surgical tumor removal.
  • Radiation therapy.

 

 


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