Word on Health

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Word On Pituitary Diseases

Our thanks to the Pituitary Foundation for their input to our radio feature.

What is the Pituitary Gland? The pituitary gland is an important gland and it is often referred to as the 'master gland', because it controls several of the other hormone glands (e.g. adrenals, thyroid). It is usually about the size of a bean and consists of two parts (often called lobes) - a front part, called the anterior pituitary and a back part, called the posterior pituitary.

Adult pituitary disease usually consists of a benign growth (often referred to as ‘adenoma’ or ‘tumour’) on the gland.  This can cause the gland to produce excess hormone, or it can block hormone production, or it can be ‘non-functioning’ (hormone production not affected in any way). 

There are other pituitary conditions, such as pituitary Apoplexy, Sheehan’s Syndrome, Empty Sella Syndrome, Craniopharyngioma, MEN 1(Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia), Rathkes Cleft.

Symptoms of Adult Pituitary Disease? The following list covers different pituitary conditions and patients will not display all of these symptoms, only the ones relevant to their particular condition.

You should see your GP if you have any of these symptoms but, remember, having some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have a pituitary condition.

  • 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 (with reddened skin on face)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

For details of Pituitary diseases in children and for help and support visit the Pituitary Foundation website   http://www.pituitary.org.uk 

Listen to this weeks radio report

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.