Non Functioning Pituitary Adenoma Symptoms

Non-Functioning Pituitary Adenoma Symptoms

Because non-functioning pituitary adenomas do not affect the hormones in the way other pituitary tumors do, many patients do not realize they have a tumor until it has grown to the point that it interferes with other areas of the nervous system. For this reason, the non-functioning pituitary adenoma symptoms that patients notice first are typically vision problems. A few patients will develop partial or complete pituitary failure, or hyposecretion, as a result of large tumors. Understanding these two categories of symptoms will help patients make informed decisions about their health and treatment if they are struggling with these tumors.

Vision Changes Due to Pituitary Tumors

When pituitary tumors grow to the point that they press on the optic nerve, patients will experience changes to their vision. Most commonly, patients may lose their peripheral vision, or they may experience trouble controlling their eye movements. Some patients will develop headaches as well.

Hyposecretion Effects of Pituitary Tumors

Another category of symptoms of non-functioning pituitary adenomas is hyposecretion symptoms. Hyposecretion occurs when the tumor impacts the function of the pituitary gland. When the gland cannot function as it should, patients may lose their appetites or notice changes to their weight. Fatigue is another common symptom. These patients may experience bowel trouble, including constipation, and may suffer from dry skin problems.

The loss of function of the pituitary gland an affect many systems in the body. Reduced libido, infertility, impotence and poor function of the ovaries or testes can be one result. Patients may have low sodium levels in their blood or struggle with low blood pressure. It's not uncommon for patients to be dizzy or experience joint pain, either.

When to See a Doctor

Non-functioning pituitary adenoma symptoms can be scary, particularly when they affect the vision. Many patients assume something is seriously wrong when they struggle with these symptoms, but the good news is that these tumors are rarely cancerous or life threatening. However, treatment is still necessary to alleviate the symptoms.

Patients who are experiencing any of the symptoms of a non-functioning pituitary tumor should talk to their doctors right away. Sometimes finding the cause of these symptoms is challenging, and it's important to get the right medical treatment from the very beginning, before the tumor spreads outside of the pituitary gland. Any combination of these symptoms can be due to a pituitary tumor, and starting the diagnostic process right away means a quicker, more accurate diagnosis.