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Hi there, I am 18 years old girl who is attending medical school. I would like to know more about condition called hypopituitary disorder. Before I got this school assignment I didn’t have a clue what it is, and I still don’t know much, so any help would be most welcome. I heard that it may affect children and adults too.

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Yes, that assumption is right. Any damage to the pituitary gland is the cause for this condition. It may be caused by radiation, infections or other things. It may even be caused by a surgery. The symptoms may appear in a very rapid way. On children X-rays may determine if their bones are growing normally. CT and MRI are helpful if you want to determine if the tumor is present. There are also a couple of tests like ACTH, FSH and TSH. Treatment may be done by drugs which should replace the deficient hormone, and surgery might be a solution too. After treatment, the condition should be closely monitored. That is about it.
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Hi norrie,



A pituitary adenoma is the most common form of a hypo-pituitary disorder. I was misdiagnosed with one in my 30's. Here's what I learned. If you don't have a menstrual cycle for a significant period of time (I didn't have one for a year. Don't wait that long!) see an OB/GYN. A CT scan should reveal the tumor, which is usually very small and benign. However, in my case, a CT scan didn't show anything, but an MRI did. I was sent to an endocrinologist who put me on dexamethasone, which is a medication used to replace cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, which is stimulated by the pituitary gland. I was told that my periods should begin again, and they did. The only problem was that my endocrinologist never did any follow-up MRIs to make sure the tumor wasn't growing. Five years later, I began to have numbness on the left side of my face and was starting to see double. I was sent to a neurosurgeon after a MRI revealed a tumor on my pituitary gland the size of a golf ball. The neurosurgeon said I didn't have a pituitary adenoma, but a meningioma which was pressing on my pituitary gland and causing similar symptoms to a pituitary adenoma. If caught when small, both tumors can be removed through the nasal passages. Meningiomas are rarely encapsulated which are fingers that spread to surrounding areas, and so, even if the largest part of the tumor is removed, radiation is still necessary to stop the continued growth of the tumor. Chemo doesn't work on meningiomas because they are made up of the material that covers the brain, the meninges, which is a bony substance. Since, at this point, mine was too big to remove and biopsy, I had radiation that was a higher amount than what would have been given if benign, yet smaller than if cancerous. I have MRIs every year to make sure the tumor isn't growing. I am five years growth free! I know I gave you more information than you asked for, but I wanted to emphasize the importance of FOLLOW-UP MRIs once you've been diagnosed with an adenoma, and second opinions are always a good thing too. Building a good relationship with your doctor or team of doctors is paramount, with trust as the main ingredient. I wish you luck in your search for information and urge you to advocate for your health. In my case, if I had known what I know now, I would have insisted on follow-up MRIs when it was small. Then, they could have removed a portion, biopsied it, and known which type of meningioma they were dealing with. As it stands, my current doctor had to guess on which radiation treatment to give me. He is one of the best pituitary neurosurgeons on the West Coast, so I have a high amount of trust in his "guess." I don't want anyone to go through what I did, if it can be avoided. Advocate for you and ALWAYS ask questions.
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