What Are Some Different Types of Pituitary Disorders?


Quick Answer

Examples of pituitary gland disorders include pituitary gland tumors, hypopituitarism and acromegaly, states Hormone Health Network. Pituitary gland tumors, the most common type of pituitary disorder, are usually benign.

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Full Answer

Physicians refer to the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, as the master gland because it is responsible for many essential hormones and bodily processes, according to Hormone Health Network. Pituitary tumors are rarely cancerous but can cause problems for patients through hypersecretion, hyposecretion and tumor mass effects. Hypersecretion occurs when the gland releases too much of a hormone, while hyposecretion means the pituitary gland releases too little of a hormone. Pituitary tumors can also grow large and press against the brain, resulting in headaches and vision problems.

Hypopituitarism occurs when the pituitary gland does not release enough of its essential hormones, such as prolactin, adrenocorticotropin or luteinizing hormone, states Hormone Health Network. Symptoms vary widely based on the hormone affected. Tumors, brain surgery, traumatic brain injury or severe bleeding in the brain can cause this condition.

An excess of growth hormone in the blood causes acromegaly and is typically seen in middle-aged men and women, advises Hormone Health Network. Symptoms include disruptions in energy level, muscle strength and bone health. Acromegaly is usually caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland called a pituitary adenoma, but it can also result from a hormone-producing tumor elsewhere in the body.

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