Adrenal and Pituitary Disorders

Adrenal disorders can be caused by too much or too little of a particular hormone leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and other health issues. Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands don’t make enough cortisol, and sometimes, aldosterone. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Some people experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Adrenal insufficiency is treated with hormones that replace the hormones your body is lacking.

Pituitary gland disorders can affect growth, metabolism, energy, blood pressure and many other functions are regulated by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a tiny organ, the size of a pea, found at the base of the brain. As the “master gland” of the body, it produces many hormones that travel throughout the body, directing certain processes or stimulating (causing) other glands to produce other hormones. The pituitary gland works other glands in the body as part of our endocrine system. Because the pituitary gland is located close to the brain, disorders may also affect the nervous system. Pituitary  tumours are also one of the main reasons for endocrine disorders.

The pituitary gland produces hormones, such as these, that affect many other glands in the body:

  • Prolactin, to stimulate milk production after childbirth
  • Growth hormone, to stimulate childhood growth and maintain a healthy body composition in adults
  • Adrenocorticotropic (ACTH), to stimulate the production of cortisol, an important stress hormone that helps maintain blood pressure and blood glucose levels
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), to regulate the body’s metabolism and energy
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), to regulate testicular function in men and ovarian function in women

Related disorder occurs in the above areas of functioning if there is an abnormality in the pituitary gland affecting the above hormone productions.

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