Hypopituitarism (also called pituitary insufficiency) is a rare condition in which your pituitary gland doesn't make enough of certain hormones. Your body can't work properly when important glands, such as your thyroid gland and adrenal gland, don't get the hormones they need from your pituitary gland. Hypopituitarism can develop very slowly, over several months or even over several years.
Hypopituitarism can be caused by:
Sometimes, the cause is unknown.
Symptoms can include one or more of the following:
Your doctor will check your hormone levels with blood tests. You may have other tests, such as an MRI of your pituitary gland, to help find the cause of your hypopituitarism.
Treatment usually includes taking the hormones you're missing, sometimes for life. Your doctor also will teach you how to take extra cortisone (a hormone) when you are sick or under stress. If a tumor is causing your hypopituitarism, you might need surgery to remove it and/or possibly radiation treatment. If needed, you can take medicine for infertility.
You will need to get regular check-ups. It's wise to wear medical identification, such as a bracelet or pendant, which provides information about your condition in case of an emergency.
You can expect a normal life span, as long as you regularly take the medications recommended by your doctor.
The Hormone Health Network is the public education affiliate of the Endocrine Society dedicated to helping both patients and doctors find information on the prevention, treatment and cure of hormone-related conditions.
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