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Hypopituitarism - What is Hypopituitarism?

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What is hypopituitarism?

The pituitary gland is a small gland attached to the base of the brain. Hypopituitarism refers to loss of pituitary gland hormone production. The pituitary gland produces a variety of different hormones:

  1. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): controls production of the adrenal gland hormones coritsol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
  2. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): controls thyroid hormone production from the thyroid gland.
  3. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): LH and FSH together control fertility in both sexes and the secretion of sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone from the ovaries in women and testosterone from the testes in men).
  4. Growth hormone (GH): required for growth in childhood and has effects on the entire body throughout life.
  5. Prolactin (PRL): required for breast feeding.
  6. Oxytocin: required during labor and delivery and for lactation and breast feeding.
  7. Antidiuretic hormone (also known as vasopressin):

Hypopituitarism may involve the loss of one, several or all of the pituitary hormones. Thus, a complete evaluation is needed to determine which hormone or hormones are deficient and need to be replaced. Hormone replacement is available for all of the pituitary hormones except for PRL and oxytocin.

'Hypo' is Greek for 'below normal' or 'deficient'