Do You Have An Undiagnosed Illness? It Could Be Your Pituitary Gland
Have you been to the doctor with troublesome symptoms only to come away without a diagnosis? Are you frustrated by your inability to get answers? Your pituitary gland controls many functions in your body and is responsible for directing a variety of processes. When it doesn’t work the way it should, it can be the cause of a wide variety of symptoms. If you are suffering from an undiagnosed illness it is worth considering if the cause of your symptoms is a dysfunctional pituitary gland.
What The Pituitary Gland Does
The pituitary gland is sometimes referred to as the master gland or the controller. It sits in a bony cavity on the underside of the brain and is about the size of a pea. Its job is to direct hormone production in various parts of the endocrine system. It secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream.
Some of the functions of the pituitary gland include regulating growth hormones and directing the activities of the thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries and testes. It directs them to produce thyroid hormones, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone, as well as other hormones.
These hormones and others regulate a number of processes in the body. These include the production of prolactin during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the regulation of the metabolism, reproduction processes, blood pressure, body fluid levels, and normal sleeping patterns.
Symptoms Of Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
With such a wide range of functions, it’s not surprising that a wide range of symptoms follows when the pituitary gland is not working the way it should. Symptoms include:
- Loss of libido
- Discharge from the breasts when not pregnant or breastfeeding
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods
- Mood swings and emotional instability
- Sleep disturbances
- Feelings of anger
- Erectile dysfunction
- Infertility in both sexes
- Weight gain
- Eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and obesity
- Difficulties with memory
- Weakness of the limbs
- Excess hair facial and body hair growth in women
- Loss of facial or body hair in men
- Feeling lethargic
- High blood pressure
Diagnosing Pituitary Gland Dysfunction
While you may not experience every symptom on the list, it’s worth talking to your doctor if you are experiencing several of these symptoms. It’s helpful for your doctor if you write a list of all of your symptoms so he or she can establish a pattern. When you visit the doctor it’s sometimes easy to forget something minor, but it might be an important piece in the puzzle. Writing down your symptoms as you think of them will help the doctor to see the bigger picture rather than focusing on a single isolated symptom.
The Experts Say …
Pituitary gland disorders are very common. According to Shereen Ezzat, Professor Of Medicine at the University Of Toronto, as many as 1 in 5 individuals may have an abnormal growth on their pituitary gland. This can cause significant health complications that could lead to a reduced lifespan if left untreated.
If you suspect that you may have a disorder of the pituitary gland, make a list of your symptoms and ask your doctor about it. Most doctors will be happy to explore the options with you and you will have peace of mind once you have a diagnosis and treatment can begin.