The pituitary gland is referred to as the "master gland" because it releases substances/hormones which control the basic functions of growth, metabolism, and reproduction.
A pituitary tumor can cause symptoms from its mass effect (Headache, visual symptoms, vomiting) or symptoms can result releasing too much of the hormone. Some tumors cause the gland to stop releasing enough hormones.
Following are the few pituitary diseases:
An increase in the amount of growth hormone (GH) causes the body to grow at an abnormally rapid rate. Bones become thicker, the hands and feet may appear wider or coarse, and the jaw may protrude. This is called ACROMEGALY.
If a tumor releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), it causes cortisol excess which leads to fat deposits, especially in the shoulders and face. This condition is known as CUSHING'S DISEASE
Elevated levels of prolactin may cause secretion of milk and decreased sexual drive in men and women. It may also cause irregular or absent menstrual periods in women, and difficulty in having an erection or infertility in men. This is called a PROLACTINOMA. Usually these tumors can be treated with medication alone.
Loss of posterior pituitary hormone ADH – leads to a condition called Diabetes Inspidus, which is characterized production of very diluted urine and excessive thirst.
Other Pituitary tumors include:
-Rathke's cleft cysts
Other pituitary conditions treated include:
Usually after pituitary surgery patients develop loss of one or more of pituiaty hormones and need life long replacement.
Other inflammatory and infiltrative pituitary conditions including
-Lymphocytic hypophysitis, sarcoidosis, hemochromatosis, lymphomas