DISEASES CAUSED BY THE PITUITARY GLAND

DISEASES CAUSED BY THE PITUITARY GLAND

The Pituitary Gland is located in the middle of the skull and is encased in a saddle-shaped box called the Sella Turcica. The pituitary gland is the size of a large pea that protrudes off the bottom of the Hypothalamus, underneath the brain and behind the bridge of the nose.

Even through the Pituitary Gland is the size of a pea there is a reason it is referred to as, ” The Master Gland.” The Pituitary Gland is the control center to the Endocrine system. The Pituitary Gland controls the release of their hormones into the bloodstream:

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone-  stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete steroid hormones , cortisol (essential to life).
  • Growth hormone, which regulates growth, metabolism and body composition.
  • Luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, also known as Gonadotrophins. The hormone stimulates sex hormone production, and egg and sperm maturity.
  • Prolactin, which stimulates milk production
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone, which stimulates the thyroid gland to secrete thyroid hormones, TSH, T3, T4.

There are also some hormones that are produced by the hypothalamus and then stored in the posterior pituitary gland prior to being released into the bloodstream. These are:

  • Anti-diuretic hormone, which controls water balance and blood pressure. It is made by the hypothalamus but is stored in the posterior pituitary gland prior to being released into the bloodstream. This hormones controls water intake and urine output.
  • Oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contractions during labour and milk secretion during breastfeeding. It is made by the hypothalamus but is stored in the posterior pituitary gland prior to being released into the bloodstream. This hormone is also thought to help with anxiety and social interaction.

The Pituitary Gland controls  If the Pituitary Gland does release enough hormones or if the Pituitary Gland releases too many hormones Pituitary Disease can evolve. Below are a list of several Pituitary Gland diseases. These Pituitary Gland diseases are caused by overproduction of hormones or underproduction of hormones.

Here is a list of Diseases Caused by the Pituitary Gland disorder:

Pituitary Disease                          Caused By                    Hormones Affected

  • Acromegaly                                          overproduction           Growth Hormone
  • Cushing’s disease                                overproduction           Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Growth hormone deficiency             under production       Growth Hormone
  • Syndrome antidiuretic hormone     overproduction           Vasopressin
  • Diabetes insipidus                              under production       Vasopressin
  • Sheehan’s Syndrome                          under production       any pituitary hormone
    Pickardt-Fahlbusch-Syndrome        under production       any pituitary hormone, *except prolactin, which is increased
  • Hyperpituitarism                                overproduction            any pituitary hormone
  • Hypopituitarism                                  under production        any pituitary hormone

You can read more about the Pituitary Gland here.

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