What Is Hypopituitarism?: Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis

What Is Hypopituitarism?

When the pituitary gland cannot produce some or all of its hormones in normal amounts, it is called hypopituitarism. The pituitary gland produces many hormones or chemicals that control other glands in the body. If these glands cannot produce these hormones, then it is called hypopituitarism.

Hypopituitarism is a syndrome that is due to the low secretion of hormones that are ACTH(Adrino corticotrophin hormone), ADH(anti diuretics hormone), FSH(follicle-stimulating hormones), TSH(Thyroid-stimulating hormone), LH(luteinizing hormones), GH(Growth hormones), and prolactin is a condition primarily affecting the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland.

Table of Contents

Causes and risk factors

  • Anterior pituitary tumors: tumors can stop the pituitary gland’s growth or damage the gland.
  • A pituitary tumor can suppress the optic nerves in the eye and cause visual problems
  • Brain surgery
  • Radiation treatment
  • Autoimmune inflammation
  • Infections: cerebral abscess, meningitis, TB,
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Head injuries
  • Brain tumor


Signs and symptoms

  • It depends on which pituitary hormones are deficient and how severe the deficiency is
  • Acute pituitary failure with acute collapse and coma
  • ACTH hormone deficiency:- fatigue, pallor, anorexia, weight loss, dizziness, weakness, depression, nausea or vomiting, circulatory failure, fever and shock, hypoglycemia, hypotension, anemia, in children delayed puberty,  
  • TSH deficiency:- constipation, weight gain, bradycardia, hypotension, sensitivity to cold, decreased energy, and muscle weakness, tiredness, hair loss, dry skin, hoarseness
  • In children: retarded development, growth retardation.

Growth hormone deficiency

In children, symptoms include fatigue, short height, decreased muscle mass and strength, fat around the waist and in the face, low overall growth or growth retardation

In adult symptoms include low energy, reduced strength and exercise tolerance, weight gain, obesity, anxiety or depression impairment of attention and memory.

Prolaction deficiency

ADH deficiency 

Increased thirst and urination, decreased urine osmolality, and  hypernatremia.

Gonadotropin deficiency Men

loss of libido, impaired sexual function, mood impairment, loss of facial and body hair, decreased muscle mass, osteoporosis, anemia.


irregular or stop menstrual periods, loss of libido, infertility and osteoporosis. Weakness, lack of interest in sexual activity, infertility.

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delayed puberty

Diagnostic evalution

  • Blood tests:-they can help detect deficits in hormones as a result of pituitary failure
  • Stimulation or dynamic testing:- which check the body’s secretion of hormones after administration of specific medication that can stimulate hormone production
  • Brain imaging: CT-SCAN and MRI scan
  • Vision tests
  • X-ray

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Hormone replacement medicine

Corticosteroids are used to treat adrenal insufficiency due to the ACTH deficiency.

Thyroid hormone replacement therapy use for hypothyroidism, drugs such as levothyroxine may be used. 

Desmopressin to replace the adrenocorticotropic hormone.

GH replacement therapy genotropin

Sex hormone deficiency is treated with sex hormone therapy.

Testosterone replacement therapy is used in men with androgen deficiency.

Estrogen replacement therapy with or without progesterone is used in women.

You must read this article: Hormone Replacement Therapy Male To Female

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