Hypopituitarism: damaged pituitary gland, dysregulated hormones

The pituitary gland is responsible for the production of many essential basic hormones, which causes organs and glands to produce other hormones. If the functioning of this organ in the brain is disrupted, the body does not receive enough hormone-controlling hormones. Various organs and body processes will therefore no longer function properly. It can affect weight, fertility or level of energy. What does hypopituitarism mean and how does it affect the proper functioning of the body in different ways?


  • Function of the pituitary gland
  • Deficiency of a hormone
  • What causes it?
  • What is pan-hypopituitarism?
  • What could the symptoms be?
  • Therapy

Function of the pituitary gland

A small organ in the head is the pituitary gland. It is located centrally under the brain between the ears. It is of great importance for the functioning of the body, because it releases the basic substances with which other glands and organs produce hormones. These are called hormone-producing cells, which underlie the functioning of the body such as growth and development. If the pituitary gland functions partially or not at all, it can have major consequences for the body and its overall functioning can be disrupted.

Deficiency of a hormone

The term hypopituitarism means that there is a deficiency of one or more hormones. It may mean that, for example, the thyroid-controlling hormones are not released, which in turn means that the thyroid gland produces insufficient or no thyroxine T4, triiodothyronine T3 hormones and calcitonin. In other words, the metabolism is disrupted, and bone production is also disrupted. This principle can occur in different glands and organs, causing various physical complaints to occur.

What causes it?

There may be a pituitary tumor, which disrupts the release of hormones. In addition, the pituitary gland may also have partly died due to heavy blood loss during childbirth. A lot of blood is then extracted from the body, such as from the pituitary gland. It causes part or all of the pituitary gland to die. This can lead to Sheehan’s syndrome after childbirth, in which the woman is unable to breastfeed and menstruation stops. In other words, hypopituitarism is always a condition of the body in which the pituitary gland is damaged due to other conditions.

What is pan-hypopituitarism?

If the pituitary gland stops working completely, it will affect all body processes. All the necessary hormone-producing cells are not produced, leaving the body completely devoid of hormones. This circumstance is called pan-hypopituitarism. In other words, every gland and organ can fail partially or completely, causing the body to function increasingly deteriorated. Naturally, this circumstance is harmful to our functioning and existence, which must be responded to adequately with hormone administration.

What could the symptoms be?

If the pituitary gland fails partially or completely, it has far-reaching consequences. Depending on which gland or organ fails, it can cause certain complaints. The correct hormones are no longer produced, which can cause the following symptoms to occur.


The T3, T4 hormones and calcitonin are no longer produced. This leads to metabolic problems, causing the person to gain weight, feel tired, have painful joints, often feel cold with vibrations and have less appetite for food. In addition, it affects the condition of the bones, which can cause osteoporosis.

Ovaries and testes

The production of eggs and sperm cells is disrupted. In addition, the production of testosterone, estrogen and progesterone is also disrupted. It affects fertility, strength in the body through increased storage of fats and breakdown of muscles. It also causes impotence and menstrual disorders.

Adrenal cortex

It is responsible for the production of cortisol. A lack of this causes the immune system to respond less well. In addition, it causes an unfavorably high blood sugar level, which requires much more insulin to be produced. It allows one to gain weight in the abdomen or thighs, while the rest of the body looks normal. This is also called Cushing’s syndrome. In addition, it leads to less strength or energy in the body combined with rheumatic complaints.

Androgen and aromatase

These two are important in the production of growth hormones and sex hormones. This affects the ratio of muscle to fat, weight, metabolism of sugar, energy and fat. It is also important for the proper functioning of the heart. In other words, it can cause palpitations and an irregular heartbeat.


If it has been determined that this condition applies, regular blood tests will be done. Based on these results, it is determined to what extent hormones are additionally added, changed or reduced. The aim is that the person can function normally and body processes run normally. It means that hormone-producing cells are added so that the various glands and organs continue to work optimally. This despite the fact that the pituitary gland is failing. Adding artificial hormones to the body for life has no negative side effects, giving the person normal life expectancy.

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