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What happens if there is a pituitary problem?

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Quick Answer

Problems relating to the pituitary gland directly effect the relay of information from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland. The disconnection of these two brain functions can cause an imbalance in the type of hormone the pituitary gland releases.

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Full Answer

The hypothalamus is located just above the pituitary gland, and it is responsible for sending the message electronically to determine which hormone is released and for what purpose.

If a pituitary gland dysfunction is present, the release of growth hormone, which is responsible for bone and muscle growth, can be affected. Pituitary gland dysfunction can also cause a dysfunction of hormones released by the thyroid gland. A poorly functioning thyroid gland potentially causes poor metabolism in various cells throughout the body. Pituitary gland problems can cause a lack of ovarian production in women and sperm production in men.

An example of a pituitary gland disorder is acromegaly. This disorder is hormonal in nature and causes an excess of human growth hormone in the body. Acromegaly can be treated, but if it is undetected and untreated, it can result in serious illness and death. When acromegaly tumors are found in children, it contributes to gigantism.

Treatments of acromegaly range from surgical removal of tumors on the pituitary gland causing the problem to medical therapy and radiation therapy.

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