Hypopituitarism or underactive pituitary gland, is a complete or partial anterior lobe function’s loss. Because hypopituitarism affects an endocrine gland function that stimulates by anterior pituitary hormone, the symptoms are vary, basing on which pituitary hormone is deficient. The symptoms usually start slowly and can go unnoticed for a long time; although, sometimes they may start dramatically and suddenly. Gonadotropin deficiency in premenopausal females result in amenorrhea (when menstrual period stops), vaginal dryness, and infertility. In males, deficiency of gonadotropin may cause impotence, loss of facial and body hair, consequent infertility, decreased production of sperm, and testes atrophy(shriveling).
Individuals with Hypopituitarism may be unable to sense smells, be colorblind, and have a cleft palate or lip. Deficiency of growth hormone generally produce no or few symptoms in adults, but results in slow growth; in some cases dwarfism, in children. Thyroid stimulating hormone deficiency causes Hypothyroidism, which result in dry skin, confusion, constipation, cold intolerance, and weight gain. Deficiency of corticotropin alone is rare and it results in underactive adrenal glands, which causes infection, fatigue, low sugar blood levels, and low blood pressure.
An isolated deficiency of prolactin is rare and causes inabilities to produce breast milk after childbirth. Diagnosis of Hypopituitarism consists of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or CT-computed tomography scans, which may show localized abnormal tissue growth areas, as well as shrinkage or general enlargement of the pituitary gland. The blood tests may show hormone levels. Production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland is hard to examine, because no tests are reliably measuring it. Because the person’s body produces growth hormones in few bursts every day, with most such bursts happening during sleeping, the level of blood at any given moment does not show whether production of hormone is normal.
A doctor frequently measures the level of insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF1) in the person’s blood, because such hormone’s level tends to change gradually in proportion to the overall pituitary growth hormones secretions amount. Partial deficiency of the growth hormone is especially difficult to examine. Furthermore, growth hormone level is usually low when adrenal function or thyroid function are reduced.
Males who progress liver cirrhosis after abusing alcohol for prolonged periods, develop symptoms similar to those of Hypopituitarism, such as weight gain, enlarged breasts, skin changes, and testes atrophy. The treatment of Hypopituitarism based on deficient target hormone replacement. A pituitary tumor that causes Hypopituitarism should be treated. Tumor that produces prolactin, may be treated with medication bromocriptine. Proton beam or supervoltage irradiation of the pituitary glands may also be done to destroy the tumors. A large tumor or tumor that has spread beyong the sella turcica, can be impossible remove only with just surgery; so a doctor uses supervoltage irradiation after operation to destroy the rest tumor cells.