Pituitary Disorder Specialist

Anna Boron, MD -  - Endocrinologist

Arkangel Endocrinology & Diabetes

Anna Boron, MD

Endocrinologist located in Phoenix, AZ

Your pituitary gland is a pea-sized structure but it has a lot of influence as it produces hormones that affect nearly every system in your body. That also means symptoms of pituitary disorders are very diverse and it takes an endocrinology expert like Anna Boron, MD, at Arkangel Endocrinology & Diabetes in Phoenix, Arizona, to provide the care you need. Dr. Boron narrows down potential disorder you may have, performs the right diagnostic tests, and determines the true cause of your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use online booking.

Pituitary Disorder Q & A

What hormones are produced by the pituitary gland?

The pituitary gland is tucked into a bony hollow behind the bridge of your nose. The gland, which is attached to your brain by a stalk containing nerves and blood vessels, produces the following hormones:

  • Growth hormone
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • Prolactin
  • Oxytocin

In addition to producing growth hormone, these pituitary hormones regulate your adrenal gland, thyroid gland, and the male and female reproductive systems.

What are the most common pituitary disorders?

A benign pituitary gland tumor is the most common cause of pituitary disorders. There are two general types of pituitary tumors:

Nonfunctional pituitary tumors

When a tumor is small and nonfunctional, it usually doesn’t cause problems. However, nonfunctional tumors can grow large enough to cause headaches, vision problems, and pituitary insufficiency, which is a drop in the production of one or more hormones.

Functional pituitary tumors

Functional tumors actively produce hormones, causing high hormone levels. The three most common problems caused by functional tumors include:

  • Acromegaly, due to excessive growth hormone
  • Cushing syndrome, due to excessive cortisol
  • Prolactinomas, due to excessive prolactin

Acromegaly causes gigantism when it occurs in children, but it also affects middle-aged adults who may develop enlarged hands and feet, headaches, irregular periods, impotence, and vision loss.

What is hypopituitarism?

Hypopituitarism occurs when the pituitary gland doesn’t produce the right amount of one or more hormones. You could have low levels of any of the pituitary hormones, leading to a wide range of health problems and symptoms.

Here are two examples of hypopituitary problems:

  1. A deficiency in growth hormone leads to loss of muscle and bone mass in adults.
  2. If the pituitary doesn’t produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone, you can develop an underactive thyroid, which affects virtually every system in your body. Fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, and muscle weakness are a few symptoms of an underactive thyroid.

How are pituitary disorders treated?

Your treatment is determined by the underlying problem and whether you have excessive or deficient hormone levels. In most cases, treatments come down to one of three major options: hormone replacement therapy, surgery to remove a tumor, or radiation therapy to shrink a tumor.

If you have generic symptoms or you just don’t feel right and you don’t know why, you’ll find answers with a thorough evaluation at Arkangel Endocrinology & Diabetes. Call the office or book an appointment online.