The pituitary gland is an important, pea shaped, gland in the body and is responsible for controlling various other hormone glands in the body, such as adrenal glands, thyroid gland; and the ovaries and testicles. The pituitary gland is located behind the bridge of the nose and is placed in a bony hollow. The pituitary gland joins the base of the brain via a thin stalk. Both the anterior and the posterior parts of the pituitary gland secrete hormones.
What Causes The Pituitary Gland To Stop Working?
There are many causes why the pituitary gland stops working and these are.
Pituitary Tumor. The commonest cause of the pituitary gland to stop working is pituitary tumor. There is a development of non-cancerous growth on the pituitary gland, which affects the function of the pituitary gland. Some pituitary tumors can remain for years without producing any symptoms. The pituitary tumor can secrete excess of hormone, insufficient hormones or the pituitary tumor can press the pituitary gland and cause problems with vision and headache.
Sheehan’s Syndrome. Sheehan’s Syndrome is another cause due to which the pituitary gland stops working. This syndrome is also known as postpartum pituitary insufficiency or postpartum hypopituitarism and occurs in women who have had acute uterine hemorrhage when giving birth.
The pituitary gland stops working when the severe blood loss after a woman’s birth leads to loss of blood supply to the pituitary gland causing death of the tissue in the pituitary gland resulting in hypopituitarism after the birth. The pituitary gland stops working due to lack of blood supply to it from the excessive hemorrhage during child birth.
Lymphocytic Hypophysitis. Another cause why the pituitary gland stops working and results in hypopituitarism is Lymphocytic Hypophysitis and this is related to pregnancy. In Lymphocytic Hypophysitis, there is inflammation in the pituitary gland due to immune cells resulting in improper working of pituitary gland. The exact cause of this is not clear.
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN). These inherited disorders also cause the pituitary gland to stop working by causing the development of growths in not only pituitary gland, but more than one gland in the endocrine system of the body.
Other Common Causes Of The Pituitary Gland To Stop Working Are.
- Inherited genetic mutations can cause pituitary gland to stop working.
- Certain congenital conditions can cause pituitary gland to stop working.
- Surgical or radiation treatment of a previous pituitary disorder causes pituitary gland to stop working.
- Pituitary gland can stop working due to a head trauma.
- Low or lack of blood supply to the pituitary gland disrupts its function.
- One of the rare causes of pituitary gland to stop working is a malignant tumor.
- Iron overload; frequent blood transfusions/ hemochromatosis can cause the pituitary gland to stop working.
- An unknown condition can also cause the pituitary gland to stop working.
What Is The Removal Of The Pituitary Gland Called?
The surgery done for removal of pituitary gland (hypophysis) is called Hypophysectomy. Hypophysectomy or removal of pituitary gland is done for many reasons, which include. tumor on the pituitary gland and Cushing’s syndrome treatment.
- Mayo Clinic – Pituitary tumors: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pituitary-tumors/symptoms-causes/syc-20351868
- MedlinePlus – Sheehan Syndrome: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000352.htm
- Cleveland Clinic – Lymphocytic Hypophysitis: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17368-lymphocytic-hypophysitis
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/multiple-endocrine-neoplasia-type-1
- American Association of Neurological Surgeons – Pituitary Gland Disorders: https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Pituitary-Gland-Disorders