ENDOCRINOLOGY :: Anterior Pituitary Disorders
In some cases, the production of all of the pituitary hormones decreases or stops, usually due to damage to the entire pituitary gland. This condition is called panhypopituitarism.
What is hypopituitarism?
Hypopituitarism, also called an underactive pituitary gland, is a condition that affects the anterior (front) lobe of the pituitary gland - usually resulting in a partial or complete loss of functioning of that lobe. The resulting symptoms depend on which hormones are no longer being produced by the gland. Because the pituitary gland affects the other endocrine organs, effects of hypopituitarism may be gradual, or sudden and dramatic.
What causes hypopituitarism?
Hypopituitarism, in children, is often caused by a benign (non-cancerous) pituitary tumor, an injury, or an infection. However, often no exact cause can be determined.
What are the symptoms of hypopituitarism?
Symptoms vary depending on what hormones are insufficiently produced by the pituitary gland. The following are common symptoms associated with reduced production of certain hormones:
The symptoms of hypopituitarism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
How is hypopituitarism diagnosed?
The symptoms of several underactive glands may help your child's physician diagnose hypopituitarism. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for hypopituitarism may include:
Treatment for hypopituitarism:
Specific treatment for hypopituitarism will be determined by your child's physician based on:
Treatment of hypopituitarism depends on its cause. The goal of treatment is to restore the pituitary gland to normal function, producing normal levels of hormones. Treatment may include specific hormone replacement therapy, surgical tumor removal, and/or radiation therapy.
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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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