The pituitary gland is a pea-sized, small gland situated at the base of the brain under the hypothalamus. It synthesizes and releases several essential hormones. The pituitary gland regulates the secretion of other endocrine glands. Pituitary gland disorders include pituitary adenomas, hypopituitarism, hyperpituitarism, and Empty Sella syndrome.

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  • Management of Hypopituitarism: Hypopituitarism is characterized by a deficiency of one or more pituitary hormones. This condition affects several routine functions, including blood pressure, growth, and reproduction. The symptoms experienced by the patients depend on the type of hormone in short supply. The causes of hypopituitarism are a pituitary gland tumor, brain surgery, head injury, reduction or lack of blood flow to the pituitary gland or brain, brain hemorrhage, infection in the brain, inflammation of the pituitary gland, and certain medications, such as high-dose steroids. Management options include hormone replacement therapy and surgery.
  • Management of Growth Hormones Disorders: The synthesis and secretion of the growth hormone are regulated by the pituitary gland. There are several types of growth hormone disorders. When the growth hormone is released in a higher amount, the patients may develop acromegaly or gigantism. Its deficiency may result in growth retardation in children and growth hormone deficiency syndrome in adults. The symptoms of acromegaly are enlarged feet and hands, vision problems, excessive sweating, reduced joint mobility, and erectile dysfunction. The deficiency of growth hormone results in short stature with normal body proportions.
  • Management of Prolactin Disorders: There may be increased prolactin secretion from the pituitary gland. It may be due to a noncancerous tumor in the pituitary gland, and the condition is known as a prolactinoma. The symptoms of prolactinoma in females are painful intercourse, irregular menstrual cycles, acne, and increased body hair growth. The symptoms in males include smaller muscles, enlarged breasts, and erectile dysfunction. Management includes medications, radiation therapy, and surgery.
  • Management of Other Pituitary Tumors: Several types of tumors develop in the pituitary gland. These include non functional adenomas, macroadenomas and microadenomas, ACTH-producing tumors, and growth hormone-producing tumors. The patients may experience symptoms due to tumor pressure or alterations in hormone release. Management depends upon the type of tumor and includes medications, radiation therapy, and surgery.
  • Specialized Endocrine Dynamic Function Tests: The endocrine dynamic function tests include testing the function of endocrine glands, such as the adrenal pituitary, pancreas, and gonads. The tests for adrenal glands are the short Synacthen test, the cortisol day curve on hydrocortisone, renin/aldosterone studies, and the saline infusion test for hyperaldosteronism, among others.


Prolactinoma is diagnosed through the following methods:

  • Physical examination: The doctor performs a comprehensive examination to identify the signs of higher prolactin levels. If the doctor believes that the patient has prolactinoma, the patient is advised to undergo further testing.
  • Growth hormone deficiency: Symptoms include muscle weakness, social isolation, fatigue, and altered body fat composition.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests are performed to determine the prolactin levels in the blood. The doctor may also suggest a pregnancy test in females of childbearing age.
  • Imaging: The patient may undergo magnetic resonance imaging for the diagnosis of prolactinoma.

The symptoms of hypopituitarism depend on the type of deficiency:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) deficiency: Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, and increased sensitivity to colds.
  • Growth hormone deficiency: Symptoms include muscle weakness, social isolation, fatigue, and altered body fat composition.
  • Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone deficiency: Symptoms in females include irregular periods, hot flashes, and lack of milk for breastfeeding. Symptoms in males include mood changes and erectile dysfunction.
  • Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) deficiency: Symptoms include extreme thirst, excessive urination, and an imbalance in electrolytes.
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency: Symptoms include confusion, fatigue, frequent infections, and abdominal pain.