Pituitary Hormones and Functions
The pituitary is a small gland located below the brain,right at the skull base in a specific area which is medicinally referred to assella turcica or pituitary fossa. It weighs less than one gram and it visuallyresembles a bean. Sometimes it is also referred to as the master gland becauseit is in charge of regulating the secretion of all different types of hormonesinside the human body. The pituitary gland has a larger frontal region which ismedicinally referred to as adenohypophysis and a smaller posterior region whichis medicinally referred to as neurohypophysis. The pituitary stalk connects thepituitary gland to the region of the brain medicinally referred to as thehypothalamus. Between the pituitary stalk and the pituitary gland are thecrossing fibers of the optic nerves which are medicinally summed up as theoptic chiasm. Each side of the pituitary gland has its own cavernous sinus, andeach one of them has a carotid artery running through it and carrying blood tothe brain. Cavernous sinuses also have certain important nerves running throughthem, which are in charge of controlling the movement of the eyes. As alreadyexplained, the pituitary gland is located very closely to various major intracranialblood vessels and nerves and it controls the hormones, so it can be associatedwith a large number of neurological and hormonal symptoms of differentdisorders. Certain medical conditions related to the pituitary gland may leadto an increased production of different hormones inside the human body. Thereare also other disorders of the pituitary gland which may occur,but they are usually not associated with increased production of the hormones.It is only in the cases of enlarged tumors that the additional pressure on thepituitary gland may trigger a reduction or a complete absence of the productionof certain or all hormones inside the human body. The list of medicalconditions which may affect the pituitary gland includes lymphocytic hypophysitis,epidermoid tumor, Rathke’s cleft cyst, craniopharyngioma, meningioma, pituitaryapoplexy, recurrent adenomas, endocrine inactive adenomas, thyrotroph secretingadenomas, prolactinoma, Nelson’s syndrome, Cushing’s disease, acromegaly, differentsorts of pituitary adenomas and pituitary failure.
Hormones Produced by the Pituitary Gland
How tumors affect production of hormones?
There are two types of pituitary gland tumors and those arethe secretory and non secretory. A secretory type increases the production ofthe hormones while the other does not until it reaches certain size where itactually reduces the production of hormones. Tumors may trigger hypersecretion,hyposecretion and tumor mass effects.