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Articles in pituitary gland disorders: acromegaly hypopituitarism hyperprolactinaemia gigantism empty sella syndrome prolactinoma galactorrhea pituitary tumors

What is hypopituitarism?

Hypopituitarism, also called an underactive pituitary gland, is a condition that affects the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland -- usually resulting in a partial or complete loss of functioning of that lobe. The resulting symptoms depend on which

hormones are no longer being produced by the gland. Because the pituitary gland affects the other endocrine organs, effects of hypopituitarism may be gradual or sudden and dramatic.

Hypopituitarism is loss of function in an endocrine gland due to failure of the pituitary gland to secrete hormones which stimulate that gland's function. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain. Patients diagnosed with hypopituitarism may be deficient in one single hormone, several hormones, or have complete pituitary failure.

The pituitary is a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain, and surrounded by bone. The hypothalamus, another endocrine organ in the brain, controls the function of the pituitary gland by providing "hormonal orders." In turn, the pituitary gland regulates the many hormones that control various functions and organs within the body. The posterior pituitary acts as a sort of storage area for the hypothalamus and passes on hormones that control function of the muscles and kidneys. The anterior pituitary produces its own hormones which help to regulate several endocrine functions.

More information on hypopituitarism

What is hypopituitarism? - Hypopituitarism (underactive pituitary gland) is a condition that affects the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland.
What causes hypopituitarism? - Causes of hypopituitarism involves decreased release of hypothalamic hormones, damage to the pituitary gland cells.
What are the symptoms of hypopituitarism? - Symptoms of hypopituitarism include fatigue, sensitivity to cold, weakness, decreased appetite, weight loss and abdominal pain.
How is hypopituitarism diagnosed? - Once the diagnosis of a single hormone deficiency is made, it is strongly recommended that tests for other hormone deficiencies be conducted.
What's the treatment of hypopituitarism? - Treatment of hypopituitarism depends on the age and sex of the patient, severity of the deficiency, the number of hormones involved. 
Endocrine disorders Mainpage

Topics in endocrine disorders

Adrenal insufficiency
Addison's disease
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Conn's syndrome
Cushing's syndrome
Nelson's syndrome
Bartter's syndrome
Adrenocortical carcinoma
Pituitary gland disorders
Thyroid gland disorders

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005