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Pituitary Disorder

Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE

Endocrinologists located in Newport Beach, CA

A pituitary disorder affects the hormones controlled by the pituitary gland, which may cause a wide range of symptoms that affect your health and well-being. Anyone can develop a pituitary disorder. In Newport Beach, California, Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, and the team specialize in diagnosing and treating pituitary disorders. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

Pituitary Disorder Q&A

What is the pituitary gland?

Your pituitary gland is a tiny gland located behind your sinus cavity. A critical part of your endocrine system, the pituitary gland has a front and back portion that each produces specific hormones.

Front section hormones of the pituitary gland

The front section of your pituitary gland produces growth hormone (GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

These hormones play a critical role in controlling blood sugar, fertility, muscle mass, energy, and stress response. 

Back section hormones of the pituitary gland

The back section of your pituitary gland produces oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth and the release of breast milk. ADH regulates fluid balance. 

What is a pituitary disorder?

A pituitary disorder includes any condition that causes you to produce too little or too much of these hormones. Tumors that apply pressure to the tissue that surrounds the gland can also cause pituitary disorders.

Common types of pituitary disorders include:

Pituitary tumors

Pituitary tumors are benign growths that cause headaches and problems with vision as they enlarge and press against the pituitary gland. The pressure causes an imbalance in hormones, with an increase in the release of one hormone and a decrease in the release of another.

Growth hormone (GH) deficiency

GH deficiency may affect children or adults. In children, GH deficiency delays growth, while in adults, it may cause muscle weakness, obesity, fatigue, and loss of bone mass.

Imbalance in prolactin

An imbalance in prolactin may affect men and women. In women, it may cause the production of breastmilk outside of pregnancy; in men, it may cause erectile dysfunction or low libido.

How is a pituitary disorder diagnosed?

When you visit Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, with concerns about a pituitary disorder, you have lab work and imaging tests (MRI or CT) to diagnose a hormone imbalance and pituitary disorder. The imaging tests can determine if a tumor is responsible for your pituitary disorder.

How is a pituitary disorder treated?

Treatment for a pituitary disorder depends on the disorder type. Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, provides hormone replacement for low hormone production or medication to shrink pituitary tumors. 

Radiation therapy is also available to shrink tumors and stop the overproduction of pituitary hormones. 

In some cases, surgical intervention might be necessary. In these cases, Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, may refer you to a skilled neurosurgeon for the transsphenoidal transresection of the pituitary gland. This minimally invasive procedure uses a tool called an endoscope to remove one or more tumors from your pituitary gland.

For expert care for a pituitary disorder, call Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE, or schedule an appointment online today.