Hypopituitarism

Treatment of Hypopituitarism

Treatment of Hypopituitarism by Dr. LouisHypopituitarism is a rare condition in which your pituitary gland doesn’t make enough of certain hormones. The body cannot function propily when important glands don’t get the hormones they need from your pituitary gland.

 

 

Pituitary gland may stop producing hormones due to tumors or if it has suffered trauma. For example, if you have had brain surgery, a brain infection, or a head injury, your pituitary gland may be affected or compromised. Other possible causes of hypopituitarism include:

  • Pituitary tumor
  • Hemochromatosis (a hereditary disease characterized by too much iron in the body)
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury due to accident
  • Severe bleeding in the brain
  • Tuberculosis or meningitis
  • Lymphocytic hypophysitis (inflammation of the pituitary gland)
  • Blood loss during childbirth
  • Damaged pituitary gland from radiation or chemotherapy
  • Certain conditions present at childbirth
Symptoms of hypopituitarism depend on which hormones your pituitary gland is insufficient. Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

Growth Hormone Deficiency

  • Short stature if the pituitary does not produce enough growth hormone
  • Problem with sexual development

Thyroid Hormone Deficiency

  • Nausea, headache and vomiting
  • Decreased energy
  • Increased need to sleep
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness or aches
  • Stiffness in the joints
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Decreased mental capacity

Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Deficiencies

  • Infertility (women)
  • Impotence (men)
  • Decreased vaginal secretions
  • Decreased ejaculate volume
  • Menstrual irregularities or absence of periods (amenorrhea)
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Osteoporosis
  • Loss of body/facial hair
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Anemia

Antidiuretic Hormone Deficiency

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent/uncontrollable urination
Your Orange County neurosurgeon Robert Louis, MD may require blood test to check your hormone levels produced by the pituitary gland. Specific medications before doing blood tests may be prescribed to help stimulate your body’s production of specific hormones and get a better understanding of your pituitary gland function.

Once Dr. Louis has determined which hormone levels are low, he will check the affected parts o four body. Sometimes, the problem is not with the pituitary gland, but with the other target organs.

Imaging tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of your brain, is required to determine if a tumor on your pituitary gland is affecting its function.

There is no single course of treatment for hypopituitarism because a number of hormones may be affected. In general, the goal of treatment is to bring all your hormone levels back to normal. If head imaging reveals clinically significant pituitary tumor mass effect, prompt surgical decompression may be life saving to improve or restore pituitary gland function.

Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery
Orange County neurosurgeon Robert Louis, MD, specializes in minimally invasive endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for the treatment of hypopituitarism. This sophisticated procedure removes the tumor while minimizing complications, hospital time, trauma and discomfort. Dr, Louis has the specialized skills and training with this advanced technique. Read more about Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery.

Hormone Replacement Medicines
Hormone replacement medications are prescribed to replace the deficient hormones at a level that is as close to physiologically correct as possible and relieve the symptoms of hypopituitarism. It often takes time and repeated dose changes to find the optimal dose for each patient. Once the optimal dose is determined, the dose remains adequate for long-term treatment. Replacement therapies include Levothyroxine given daily for thyroid hormone deficiency; estrogen, progesterone and testosteron for sex-related hormone deficiencies; prednisone or cortisol for cortisol hormone deficiency.

Robert Louis, MD, a fellowship-trained Orange County Neurosurgeon, is the Director of the Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Orange County, California. Dr. Louis has particular expertise in endoscopic and minimally invasive treatment of benign and malignant brain tumors, sellar and parasellar tumors and skull base tumors.

Dr. Robert Louis specializes in minimally invasive endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for the removal of pituitary tumors. For appointments, please call (949) 274-7336 or Contact Us.