Disorders of the Pituitary Gland
The pituitary is a small gland at the base of your brain. It produces several hormones that regulate other hormone glands in your body. It is often called the master gland because it influences other glands as well as growth, reproduction, fluid balance, blood pressure and stress response.
Common pituitary disease and disorders include:
- Pituitary tumors – called adenomas, are the most common cause of pituitary disorders. Most tumors found on the pituitary gland are benign (noncancerous). Tumors can be nonfunctional and not impact the gland, while others can cause an overproduction of hormones. The tumor may also grow and press on the gland to decrease the production of hormones. Common adenomas are Cushing’s disease, prolactinomas, and acromegaly. Some pituitary tumors can lead to infertility or sexual dysfunction.
- Hypopituitarism – insufficient production of hormones due to tumors, radiation, trauma, infection or other cancers.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook
Symptoms of pituitary disease will vary. General symptoms of a pituitary disorder, include:
- Enlarged hands and/or feet
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme fatigue
- Muscle atrophy
- Menstruation stops
- Pale complexion
- Reddened skin on the face
- Sexual dysfunction
- Unexplained weight gain
- Vision problems
The experts at Penn State Health have decades of experience diagnosing and treating pituitary disorders. Treating pituitary disease can be complex and requires a team approach. At Penn State Health, our endocrinologists work closely with other specialists to treat pituitary tumors and manage the symptoms associated with the diseases.
Experts in Care
Meet our doctors, view their profiles and select the one that’s right for you.Find a doctor near you
Why Choose Penn State Health for Care
Multidisciplinary Approach to Pituitary Disease
If you are diagnosed with pituitary disease, you may need medical or surgical treatment from other Penn State Health specialists. The Penn State Health Pituitary and Skull Base Center is a regional referral center for pituitary disorders. We have effectively managed hundreds of patients with rare pituitary disease. Our team of endocrinologists partners with other specialists across Penn State Health, such as neurosurgery, radiology, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine to create the best treatment plan for you and your family.
Comprehensive Treatment for Pituitary Tumors
The diagnosis and treatment of pituitary tumors require a coordinated approach with surgical and medical experts. At Penn State Health, we combine medical expertise on managing hormone levels with the surgical precision of neurosurgeons for the surgical removal of tumors. Our surgeons use a minimally invasive technique for tumor removal called the transsphenoidal approach. This approach allows surgeons to preserve healthy tissue by accessing the gland through the nasal passage.
Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.
Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.Find a location near you