Pronounced: Hi-po-pi-TUI-tar-ismEn Español (Spanish Version)
The pituitary gland is in the brain. It produces several important hormones that control the production of other hormones made by glands in the body.
The pituitary gland is responsible for many body functions, including the following:
- Blood pressure
- Sex organ function
- Thyroid gland function
- Breast milk production and other aspects of pregnancy and birth
- Water balance in the body
- Some reactions to stress
Hypopituitarism is an insufficient production of one or more hormones. A problem in the pituitary can cause the amount of hormones from other glands to diminish as well.
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There are several factors which may cause this condition:
- Tumors of the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, or brain
- Poor blood supply to the pituitary gland
- Head trauma
- Radiation to pituitary gland, head, or neck
- Infections and inflammatory diseases
- Uncommon immune system or metabolic diseases
- A rare complication after pregnancy, called Sheehan’s syndrome
- Metastatic cancer from lung, colon, prostate, or melanoma
- Antidiuretic hormone deficiency (rare):
- Excessive thirst and frequent urination
- Night-time urination
Last reviewedMarch 2014by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.