Pituitary gland is one of the most important glands in the human body because this gland regulates the function of all the glands in the body. It is located behind the nose bridge in the hollow of the nose. It is very small and is linked with hypothalamus with thin stalk. Hypothalamus is placed at the base of the brain and one of its roles is to regulate the function of the pituitary gland.
Since the pituitary gland controls the functions of all other glands in the human body, it is usually called master gland. For example, the pituitary gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone, which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce its hormones. Therefore, it is extremely important to have this gland healthy. Otherwise, many problems can occur in the body due to the hormonal imbalance that pituitary gland problems may induce.
Problems of the pituitary gland
Tumors, craniopharyngioma, Rathkes cleft cyst, Sheehan's syndrome and multiple endocrine neoplasia are top five pituitary gland disorders.
- Any abnormal growth of the cells in the body is considerer to be a tumor. It can be benign or noncancerous and malignant or cancerous. In the majority of cases, the pituitary gland is affected by benign tumors that are not serious or harmful. However, many tumors can lead to the overproduction of certain hormones and thus disturb the hormonal imbalance in the body, which, further, may cause other complications in the body.
- Craniopharyngioma is a congenital disorder marked by the formation of cysts that make a pressure on the hypothalamus. As a consequence, the hypothalamus cannot control the function of the pituitary gland. This condition usually occurs in children and is connected with the human growth hormone, because this condition can cause small body height.
- One of the pituitary gland problems is Rathkes cleft cyst. Rathkes pouch through which the pituitary gland is formed tends to close itself in the fetal stage. However, the part of this pouch remains in the pituitary gland. When this pouch fills with fluid, a cyst called Rathkes cleft cyst forms. It can cause certain problems to the normal functioning of the pituitary gland.
- Sheehan's syndrome is a condition caused by the severe hemorrhage of the uterine during childbirth. Because hemorrhage causes excessive blood loss, the pituitary gland does not receive enough amounts of blood and hypopituitarism occurs.
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia is a condition that affects only men. It is a genetic disorder that causes the formation of tumors in any endocrine gland.