Hyperpituitarism is a condition when the pituitary gland produces too much hormone. This condition can have various effects on the body, depending on the type of hormone that is being produced in excess.

The pituitary gland or pituitary gland is a small pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. This gland produces hormones that play an important role in regulating body functions, such as metabolism, growth, blood pressure, and the maturation and work of the reproductive organs.

Excessive hormone production in the pituitary gland can cause disorders, such as Cushing's syndrome, acromegaly, gigantism, hyperthyroidism, and prolactinoma.

Causes of Hyperpituitarism

Hyperpituitarism is usually caused by a tumor pressing on the pituitary gland. This condition forces the pituitary gland to overproduce certain hormones. Even so, these pituitary tumors are generally benign.

The cause of the appearance of pituitary tumors is not known with certainty. However, experts suspect that the appearance of these tumors is related to the genetic disorder MEN1 ( multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 ) which can be passed on to children.

Symptoms of Hyperpituitarism

Overproduction of hormones in the pituitary gland can cause different symptoms. The following are several types of diseases caused by hyperpituitarism and the symptoms they cause:

1. Cushing's syndrome

Cushing's syndrome is characterized by high levels of the hormone cortisol in the body. Symptoms that are commonly found are:

  • Weight gain
  • Fat accumulation, especially on the shoulders ( buffalo hump ) and face ( moon face )
  • Appearance of pink or purple stretch marks on the abdomen
  • Thinning skin making it prone to bruising
  • Bones are brittle so they break easily
  • Redness or the appearance of pimples on the face
  • Weak muscles

2. Acromegaly

Acromegaly is characterized by excess levels of growth hormone ( growth hormone ) in adults. Symptoms can include:

  • Enlarged facial organs, for example in the size of the nose, lips and tongue
  • The size of the hands and feet that are enlarged beyond normal size
  • Skin changes to become thicker, rougher, and oilier
  • Excessive sweating
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Impotence in men
  • Disorders of the menstrual cycle in women

3. Gigantism

Gigantism is also characterized by high levels of growth hormone . However, this condition generally occurs in children and adolescents at the end of puberty. Symptoms of gigantism can include:

  • He is above the average height for his age
  • Abnormal size of fingers, hands and feet
  • Abnormalities in the structure of the face, such as the tongue, lips and nose that are larger than normal
  • Excessive sweat production
  • Disorders of the menstrual cycle in women
  • Late puberty
  • Sleep disorders

4. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is characterized by thyroid hormone levels that exceed normal limits. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Losing weight for no reason
  • fast heart rate ( tachycardia )
  • Shaking in the hands ( tremors )
  • Nervousness, restlessness, and irritability
  • Easily feel hot and sweaty ( hyperhidrosis )
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck (goiter)
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Hard to sleep
  • Weak muscles
  • Thinning skin

5. Prolactinoma

Prolactinoma is characterized by increased levels of the hormone prolactin above normal limits. This condition can occur without symptoms. However, if the size of the tumor is large enough, the reproductive system in men (testosterone) and women (estrogen) can be disrupted. Common symptoms are:

  • Fertility disorders, such as impotence in men and infertility in women
  • Milky white discharge from the nipples even if you are not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Disorders of the menstrual cycle in women
  • Reduction in the number of sperm cells in men
  • Decreased sex drive, both in men and women
  • Reduced hair on the body and face
  • Headache
  • Impaired vision
  • Brittle bones

When to see a doctor

If you experience symptoms of hyperpituitarism as mentioned above, immediately do a self-examination to the doctor , especially if you have a family history of hyperpituitarism. Early treatment can reduce the risk of worsening and complications.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of hyperpituitarism can vary. Immediately go to the emergency room if you experience symptoms of hyperpituitarism accompanied by signs of an emergency, such as:

  • Weight loss drastically
  • Body feels weak
  • Hard to breathe
  • The heart rate is very fast
  • Severe headache
  • Loss of consciousness

Diagnosis of Hyperpituitarism

Diagnosis of hyperpituitarism begins with a question and answer regarding the symptoms experienced and the patient's medical history. After that, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations to confirm the diagnosis, namely:

  • Blood tests and urine tests, to measure the levels of hormones produced by the pituitary gland as well as rule out the possibility of other diseases
  • Eye examination, to find out whether the tumor interferes with vision
  • Scan with X-rays, CT scan, or MRI, to identify the size and location of the tumor

Treatment of Hyperpituitarism

After the diagnosis is determined, the doctor will determine the appropriate treatment method for the patient. Some of the actions that doctors can take are:

  • Surgical procedure, to remove a tumor that grows in the pituitary gland. This action is most effective when the tumor size is less than 1 cm.
  • Administration of drugs, to reduce the size of the tumor before surgery. Medicines are also given to patients who cannot undergo surgery.
  • Radiation therapy or radiotherapy, to remove tumors with radiation beams. This therapy is performed on patients who cannot undergo surgery. or when drug therapy is ineffective. In addition, radiotherapy can also be done to clean up the remnants of the tumor.

Hyperpituitarism complications

Depending on the type of disorder that arises from hyperthyroidism, people with hyperpituitarism who don't get treatment can experience the following complications:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious disease
  • Weak muscles
  • Heart attack
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Blindness
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Strokes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Thyroid crisis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Delayed puberty
  • Disturbances in socializing
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Disorders of pregnancy
  • Permanent disruption of hormone production
  • Pituitary apoplexy , which is an emergency condition due to a tumor in the pituitary gland

Prevention of Hyperpituitarism

Not yet known exactly how to prevent hyperpituitarism. However, there are several efforts that can be made to prevent pituitary tumors from occurring, namely:

  • Eat healthy and nutritionally complete and balanced food
  • Get enough rest
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain body weight to remain ideal

If you or your partner have a history of hyperpituitarism and are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor first regarding the possibility of passing the pituitary tumor gene to your child.

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