The pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland, is located inside the skull right under the brain. This is responsible for regulating the functions of other endocrine glands, such as the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries and testicles. A pituitary condition or a tumor can significantly affect the quality of life due to the role of pituitary gland in regulating some of these other endocrine glands.
General symptoms for any type of pituitary tumor include:
When a tumor of the pituitary gland blocks its activity or hormones produced by it, one or more of the following symptoms may occur:
- Impaired vision;
- Hair loss on the body;
- Impairment of sexual functions;
- In women damaging the production of breast milk, reducing menstruation, etc .;
- In men can cause impotence, loss of facial hair or growth of breast tissue;
- In children may cause growth retardation or impairment of sexual development.
How does it affect the hormones?
If the pituitary continues to function, the tumor can cause overproduction of hormones. Symptoms will depend on the hormone that is produced in excess:
- Acromegaly: This is a growth disorder caused by an excess of growth hormone.
- Cushing’s Disease: This disorder is caused by the fact that the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol in response to a pituitary hormone produced by the pituitary adenoma. Symptoms may include fat accumulation around the trunk and hump look.
- Hyperprolactinemia: This is an endocrine disorder caused by the excessive production of prolactin. Symptoms of hyperprolactinemia include irregular menstrual cycles (in women) and infertility (in men).
- Hyperthyroidism: It is a disorder caused by the thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone in response to a hormone produced by the pituitary tumor. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include rapid or irregular heartbeat and weight loss.
Are there any other symptoms?
Most pituitary tumors are small, but larger tumors, called macroadenomas, can exert pressure on the pituitary gland and surrounding tissues and can cause vision changes such as double vision and loss of peripheral vision. Other possible symptoms related to pressure from a pituitary tumor:
- Cold intolerance;
- Dry skin;
- Hair loss on the body;
- Lowering of blood pressure;
- Menstrual dysfunction;
- Vomiting, etc.
Not everyone with a pituitary tumor will experience all of these symptoms. Symptoms vary depending on what type of tumor is, as well as its size and shape.