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Hypopituitarism is a condition in which the pituitary gland does not produce normal amounts of some or all of its hormones.


The pituitary gland is a small gland that is located just below the brain, and is attached to the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls its function.  The hormones released by the pituitary gland (and their functions) are:


  • adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth) -  stimulates the adrenal gland to release cortisol; cortisol helps to maintain blood pressure and blood sugar
  • antidiuretic hormone (adh) - controls water loss by the kidneys
  • follicle stimulating hormone (fsh) -  controls sexual function and fertility
  • growth hormone (gh) - stimulates growth of tissues and bone
  • luteinizing hormone (lh) - controls sexual function and fertility
  • oxytocin - stimulates the uterus to contract during labor and the breasts to release milk
  • prolactin - stimulates female breast development and milk production
  • thyroid stimulating hormone (tsh) - stimulates the thyroid gland to release hormones that affect the body's metabolism

In hypopituitarism, there is a lack of one or more pituitary hormones. Lack of the hormone leads to loss of function in the gland or organ that it controls.


Symptoms may include:


  • abdominal pain
  • cessation of menstrual periods
  • decreased appetite and weight loss
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • lack of sex drive
  • hair loss
  • low blood pressure
  • sensitivity to cold
  • slowed growth and sexual development
  • visual disturbances
  • weakness
  • facial swelling
  • hoarseness or changing voice

Causes may include:



Treatment may include:


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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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