Pituitary disorders are considered rare condition. According to research, the condition affects 70 to 90 people out of 100,000. This disease occurs when the pituitary gland produces too many or few hormones that act on nearly all parts of the body.
The pituitary disorder can cause a wide range of medical conditions, such as prolactinoma (PRL), Cushing’s disease (CD), clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFA), or acromegaly (ACRO). Learn more about pituitary disorder signs, diagnosis causes, and when to call a doctor.
What are the Signs That Your Pituitary Gland Is Not Working Properly?
When the pituitary gland is not functioning correctly, you may experience various symptoms that will make you feel some changes in your body. The signs depend on the disorder, affected hormones, how fast they appear, and the cause and location.
Some people may experience sudden and dramatic symptoms, while others may have no symptoms or may be gradual. Here are the symptoms that affect people with pituitary disorders.
• GH (Growth Hormone) Deficiency-Affects children and adults. Symptoms in children include poor growth, fat around the waist and face, and short height. Adult symptoms are weight gain, reduced muscle mass, decreased energy in the body, decreased strength, anxiety, and depression.
• ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic) Deficiency-Common symptoms are depression, nausea, body weakness, fatigue, weight loss, low blood pressure, and vomiting.
• FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH Luteinizing Hormone (LH) deficiency-Symptoms include stopped menstrual periods and infertility in women. Men experience erectile dysfunction, lack of interest in sex, facial hair loss, and weakness.
• Oxytocin Hormone deficiency- Signs include low sex drive, pale skin, feeling socially isolated, depression, cold hands and feet, and challenges with breastfeeding women due to low milk production.
• Prolactin Deficiency- This symptom affects women, including a lack of breast milk production after giving birth.
Other symptoms may include hair loss, high blood pressure, vision changes, headaches, irritability, easy bruising, seizures, drooping eyelids, and thickening of the skull.
Pituitary disorder symptoms may be similar to those of other diseases. Some people may not experience any of the above symptoms. This is why it’d be best to seek medical advice from a qualified doctor if you experience any unusual changes in the body.
How Is Pituitary Disease Diagnosed?
In most cases, pituitary symptoms aren’t noticed or detected because they are similar to those of other diseases. At Thyroid Doctor | Bay Area Endocrinology Associates, our doctors, led by Dr. Pedro I Troya, are highly experienced in diagnosing pituitary disorders.
Our physicians will perform specialized tests to determine the underlying issue and advise you accordingly. You can count on our doctors to get suitable answers to your condition with an effective treatment plan to relieve your symptoms. Diagnosis of pituitary disorder usually involves various tests and scans. Here are ways to diagnose the pituitary disorder.
Doctors conduct blood tests to detect whether there are many or few specific hormones in your body associated with pituitary disorders. In most cases, a healthcare provider diagnoses pituitary disorder when the blood tests show too many hormones that occur in a condition called hyperprolactinemia.
If a blood test shows a hormone such as cortisol, the specialist may have to conduct other tests to determine whether the earlier test result is a pituitary disorder or another health condition. In other cases, when a blood test shows very low hormones, the specialist may need to conduct other tests like imaging exams to determine if pituitary adenoma is the cause of the test results.
The physician may also conduct a blood test if the patient has enlarged hands and feet since this could indicate increased levels of growth hormone.
Doctors use MRI scans to analyze the body’s organs and tissues and diagnose the possibility of pituitary disorders. Brain scans can help doctors determine the location and size of a pituitary tumor.
Doctors can also use the results of this scan to check if the tumor is near the tissue. The physician may inject the patient with a contrast agent in an arm vein to enhance the images during the scan.
A pituitary disorder can affect peripheral vision. When a patient visits a doctor, they may need to undergo a vision test so that the doctor can determine how well they can see and conduct other tests that can help them detect a pituitary tumor.
During the test, the physician will ask the patient to find light areas on the screen using each eye. If you have eyesight problems or the specialist rules out a pituitary tumor after analyzing the symptoms, you may need to undergo vision tests.
What Is The Cause(s) Of Pituitary Disorders?
Pituitary disorders mainly occur due to noncancerous tumors and may affect thyroid functioning, adrenal functioning, and sexual development. This occurs due to uncontrolled cell growth in the pituitary gland, which makes the body produce too many or too few hormones. In some cases, though rare, pituitary disorders may occur due to inherited genes. Other causes of the pituitary disorder may include
• Head injury
• Traumatic brain injury
• Bleeding in the brain
• Severe loss of blood after childbirth
Other patients may also experience inflammation due to abnormal responses to the immune system, stroke, damage to the pituitary gland, or severe uterine bleeding during childbirth. Sometimes, the doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist for more tests. Dr. Pedro I Troya from Thyroid Doctor | Bay Area Endocrinology Associates can offer support and effective information about the causes of a pituitary disorder.
Seek Medical Attention Today
Qualified doctors can examine your condition and conduct tests and scans depending on the underlying cause and symptoms. Thyroid Doctor | Bay Area Endocrinology Associates, located in the Bay Area in Tampa, FL, specialize in all thyroid conditions, including cancer, nodules, hyper, and hypothyroidism. We conduct thyroid ultrasounds, biopsies, and lab tests within our facility and also treat other complex metabolism conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Our obesity treatment includes a weight loss program and hormone-deficient states such as low testosterone. We operate in multiple locations within the Bay Area for convenient access. If you have any of the above symptoms, contact our Tampa practice today for help.