Do you know what your pituitary gland is?

Your pituitary gland is about the size of a pea and is situated in the bony hollow, just behind the bridge of your nose.

It is attached to the base of your brain by a thin stalk. The pituitary gland is often called the master gland because it controls several other hormone glands in your body, including the thyroid and adrenals, the ovaries and testicles.

What does the pituitary gland do?

It secretes hormones from both the front part and the back part of the gland. Hormones are chemicals that carry messages from one cell to another through your blood stream.

If your pituitary gland is not producing sufficient amounts of one or more hormones this is called hypopituitarism.

What can go wrong with my pituitary gland?

The most common problem with the pituitary gland occurs when a benign tumour, also called an adenoma, develops. These tumours are not ‘brain tumours’. Some pituitary tumours can exist for years without causing symptoms and some will never produce symptoms.

Alternatively, your pituitary tumour may begin to generate too much of one or more hormones. The more common pituitary conditions include:

  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing’s
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Hypogonadism
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Prolactinoma

What are some of the symptoms adults with a condition of the pituitary gland experience?

The following list shows many of the symptoms associated with pituitary conditions:

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Loss of libido
  • Feeling dizzy and nauseous
  • Pale complexion
  • Muscle wasting
  • Coarsening of facial features
  • Enlarged hands and feet
  • Excessive sweating and oily skin
  • Moon face
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


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