One of the most important endocrine gland is the pituitary gland. At full or partial loss of function of his anterior lobe of developing a disease called hypopituitarism. Its clinical manifestations depend on exactly which hormones steel produced by the anterior pituitary in insufficient quantities. The symptoms of hypopituitarism usually develop over a sufficiently long period of time, but the disease may sometimes begin suddenly and dramatically.
Causes of hypopituitarism:
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Postponed inflammatory diseases of the brain (meningitis, encephalitis);
- Syphilis, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis;
- Vascular disorders (generic massive bleeding, bleeding in the pituitary tissue, arteritis, aneurysm);
- Brain tumors.
At insufficiency of the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland is a deficiency of one or all of its hormones synthesized.
With a deficit of gonadotropins in women occurs amenorrhea (absence of menstruation not related to pregnancy or menopause), infertility, there is vaginal dryness, until the development of the symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. In severe cases, the secondary sexual characteristics are lost.
Gonadotropin deficiency in men leads to hypopituitarism following symptoms: testicular atrophy, impotence, decreased sperm production, infertility, loss of secondary sexual characteristics.
The disadvantage is due to produce gonadotropins and development Kallmann syndrome - an inability to distinguish between odors, color blindness, and cleft palate and / or lips.
In adults, growth hormone deficiency usually does not cause any clinical symptoms of hypopituitarism. But the lack of this hormone in children causes growth retardation, up to dwarfism.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone deficiency leads to decreased function of the thyroid gland and hypothyroidism. This is manifested by symptoms of hypopituitarism how cold intolerance, lethargy, constipation, weight gain, dry skin.
Enough rare failure isolated adrenocorticotropic hormone, which stimulates the activity of the adrenal glands. In this case, patients complain of fatigue, expressed general weakness, low blood pressure. They often arises hypoglycemia (blood glucose lowering serum). The body of these patients difficult to adapt to stressful situations, including by infection, injury, surgery.
It is rarely isolated prolactin deficiency. This deficiency of this hormone can be explained by the absence of some women in the postpartum breast milk.
When massive bleeding during childbirth or the immediate postpartum period with the development of hemorrhagic shock in women may develop Sheehan's syndrome, resulting from the death of the cells of the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland as a result of violations of their blood supply. In this case, the symptoms of hypopituitarism will be the lack of breast milk, fatigue, severe weakness, loss of hair in the armpits and pubic.
Diagnosis of hypopituitarism
If you have symptoms of hypopituitarism is necessary to make a complete laboratory and instrumental examination of the patient. To clarify the structure of the pituitary gland is carried out magnetic resonance or computed tomography. Using angiography produce a study of the blood vessels that supply the pituitary gland. In addition, the determined blood levels of certain hormones. In recent years, for suspected hypopituitarism doctors increasingly prescribe to their patients positron emission tomography, provides detailed data on the structure of the pituitary gland, its size and partly on the functioning of the endocrine glands.
Treatment of hypopituitarism
If the cause of hypopituitarism is a tumor, it is necessary to conduct surgery and / or radiation therapy.
All patients suffering from hypopituitarism, necessarily result in a lifetime hormone replacement therapy, allowing to restore normal hormonal balance in the body. For its use of male and female sex hormones, thyroidin, cortisol. In children with growth retardation, which arose as a consequence of hypopituitarism, used growth hormone (HGH). In addition, they are assigned and other medications necessary for the normal development of bones and muscular system.
Choosing the right hormone replacement therapy allows for the elimination of all symptoms of hypopituitarism, as well as to restore normal operation of all internal organs.