The pituitary is a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain below the hypothalamus. Referred to as the "master gland", it produces hormones which regulate the function of many other endocrine glands in the body. Through these chemical messengers, it controls processes relating to growth, metabolism, reproduction, blood pressure regulation and lactation.
Conditions associated with the pituitary gland often stem from benign growths (adenomas) which may cause symptoms through either excess hormone production or compression of surrounding structures. These include:
Symptoms of Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
Symptoms vary depending on the condition, and may affect other parts of the body due to changes in hormone levels. Signs of dysfunction may appear as:
- Unintended changes in weight
- High blood pressure or blood sugar
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Infertility or impotence
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Changes in bone structure
- Mood changes
- Difficulty with healing
- Unexpected breast milk production
Diagnosis and Treatment of Pituitary Conditions
NorthShore’s team of board-certified endocrinologists works alongside your primary care physician to identify the cause of pituitary abnormalities. By using the latest laboratory tests and imaging technology our team provides expert knowledge on medical therapies to treat your individual symptoms. If we find that there are growths present, we collaborate with neurology, ophthalmology and radiation oncology to create a comprehensive personalized treatment plan. Treatment options for pituitary conditions could include transsphenoidal surgical resection, traditional radiation therapy or stereotactic radiosurgery.
For More Information
For more information on the pituitary gland and its related conditions, please call 847.663.8540.