Let us help you on your journey

You can count on our world-renowned, multidisciplinary team, located all in one place, to help guide you and your family seamlessly through every step of your healthcare experience. You are at the center of all that we do.

Your team is ready for you

The pituitary is a small but mighty gland, commonly called the “master gland.” While it’s only pea-sized, it produces hormones that regulate other glands and organs throughout the entire body. It sits at the bottom of the brain, behind the bridge of your nose. When it doesn’t work properly, it can affect many parts and systems of the body, such as thyroid function, growth, and skin pigmentation.  

If you have been diagnosed with a pituitary disorder or are concerned you may have one, our team can help. Here’s what you need to know, including how we diagnose pituitary disorders and how to treat pituitary disorders.   

What is a pituitary disorder?

Pituitary disorders are endocrine disorders that develop when the gland fails to produce the proper amounts of certain hormones. Generally, a pituitary tumor is the cause of these disorders. While most pituitary tumors are noncancerous, they can cause a wide variety of problems.  

If you experience symptoms or have a family history of pituitary disorders, to talk to your doctor about getting tested for one. Diagnosing a pituitary disorder early on can help ensure you get proper treatment and avoid future complications.  

A doctor discusses pituitary disorders

Types of pituitary disorders

Pituitary disorders are wideranging and can include the following: 

This occurs when a usually benign (noncancerous) pituitary tumor produces excess growth hormones.  

When a pituitary tumor produces an excessive amount of the ACTH hormone, it elevates blood cortisol levels. 

Prolactinoma is the most common hormone-producing tumor that can develop in the pituitary gland. It produces excessive amounts of prolactin, which can influence sex hormones and your metabolism. 

When the pituitary gland is underactive or not working at all, it’s called hypopituitarism. This condition can impact hormone production throughout the body, including in the thyroid, adrenals, testes, or ovaries.

While unrelated to diabetes, the symptoms of diabetes insipidus can be similar. This occurs when the pituitary produces an inadequate amount of the ADH hormone, which regulates the optimal amount of water in the body. 

When this cyst forms, it can disrupt hormones or cause vision problems. 

With GHD, the pituitary gland makes insufficient amounts of the growth hormone needed to develop the body’s bones and organs.

While this slow-growing tumor may not produce extra hormones, it can cause issues when it grows large enough to press on structures in the brain, especially the nerves responsible for vision. 

Other pituitary disorders include craniopharyngioma, sinonasal carcinoma, sellar arachnoid cysts, chordoma, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, and giantism. 

Symptoms of a pituitary disorder

Specific symptoms of a pituitary disorder depend on the type. If a tumor is the cause of the issue, the tumor’s size and location will also affect what you experience. Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision or double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Abnormal growth
  • Excessive or unexpected production of breast milk (hyperprolactinemia)
  • Nausea/vomiting

If you experience these symptoms or are concerned you may have a pituitary disorder, talk to your doctor. At the Advanced Neurosciences Center, our team is highly skilled at treating pituitary disorders. We can help with a diagnosis or a second opinion.

Diagnosing a pituitary disorder

At the Advanced Neurosciences Center, we know how to diagnose pituitary disorders. A pituitary disorder diagnosis requires hormone blood tests. These tests may be done over the course of a day to check different hormones. You might also require a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to look for abnormalities in the pituitary gland itself. 

Causes of pituitary disorders

Pituitary disorders can affect people of any age, sex, or race. Possible causes are:

  • Genetic conditions
  • Noncancerous tumors
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Cancer treatments (people who have had radiation therapy may be at a higher risk of developing a tumor later in life)

It’s important to get at the root cause of the disorder to help guide treatment.

Treatment for pituitary disorders

Treatment for a pituitary disorder largely depends on the cause. For example, if you are experiencing a hormone deficiency, you may be treated with medication. If you have a noncancerous tumor, you will most likely undergo surgery done via the nose, called endonasal surgery. In the rare instance of a cancerous or aggressive tumor, you may need radiation therapy after the tumor has been surgically removed.

At the Advanced Neurosciences Center, we know how to treat pituitary disorders. We understand the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of pituitary disorders to prevent long-term complications. Our team of experts specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of complex pituitary disorders with cutting-edge technology and treatments. We provide comprehensive and personalized care throughout your journey to meet your needs. You are at the center of your care, and your team is ready for you. 

Search below for related specialties or conditions: