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Pituitary Disorders

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What are pituitary disorders?

Pituitary disorders are conditions caused by too much or too little of one or more of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland. A pituitary tumor compressing surrounding tissues can also cause symptoms of a pituitary disorder.

Thumbnail diagram of the pituitaryThe pituitary gland is part of the endocrine system, a very complex network that consists of various glands located throughout the body. The glands produce hormones that affect processes throughout the body.

The pituitary is a pea-sized gland in the center of the head behind the sinus cavity, at the bottom of the brain, below the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus communicates with other parts of the brain and nervous system to regulate the body. It sends hormones that signal the pituitary to start or stop producing hormones. Hormones produced by the pituitary travel to other glands throughout the body and stimulate them to produce different hormones.

The pituitary has two parts: the anterior (front) and the posterior (back), which produce different hormones:

Pituitary disorders causing the production of too much or too little pituitary hormone can produce a variety of symptoms depending on which hormones and target tissues are affected.

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