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What We Want You to Know About Pituitary Disorders

What We Want You to Know About Pituitary Disorders

When something is referred to as “master” anything, you know that it plays an important role. Well, a tiny gland in your brain called your pituitary gland has this honor: Doctors call it the “master gland” because it oversees the function of all of the other hormone-producing glands in your body.

Given this role, as well as the pituitary gland’s function as a producer of hormones, it’s a good idea to have some basic knowledge about this important gland. This includes recognizing when there’s a potential problem.

To those ends, premiere endocrinologist Dr. Sean P. Nikravan presents the following information about your pituitary gland and pituitary disorders.

Basic intel about the master gland

Your pituitary gland isn’t very big — about the size of a pea. It’s located at the base of your brain, just below your hypothalamus. If you drew a line from the top of your nose back into your skull, you’d find your pituitary gland.

This small gland not only controls the function of the eight glands in your body, but it also produces hormones of its own from two different lobes — the anterior and posterior.

The anterior (front) lobe is responsible for producing:

The posterior of your pituitary gland produces antidiuretic hormones that control fluid levels in your body, as well as oxytocin, which control uterine contractions and milk secretion.

When something goes wrong with your pituitary gland

Given that your pituitary gland influences your hormonal health, both directly and indirectly, isolating a problem with your pituitary gland is challenging because of the large number of possible symptoms.

To give you an idea, a pituitary disorder can lead to:

And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential signs of a pituitary disorder.

The good news is that pituitary disorders are rare. Of the different disorders that can develop, pituitary tumors are among the more common. Doctors diagnose more than 10,000 pituitary tumors each year in the United States, and most of these tumors are benign.

The tumors can affect function and lead to issues like acromegaly, which is an overproduction of growth hormones. Pituitary tumors can also press up against other areas of your brain, such as your optic nerves, which can lead to vision issues.

Outside of tumors, other pituitary disorders include:

When it comes to recognizing when there’s an issue, you really need someone who understands the endocrine system, such as Dr. Nikravan. He recognizes the wide range of potential side effects when there’s a pituitary disorder, and he knows how to connect the dots.

If you have questions about pituitary disorders or you suspect that something may be amiss with your master gland, please contact our office in Newport Beach, California, to set up an appointment.

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