What is Hypopituitarism?

Hypopituitarism is a rare pituitary gland disorder in which the pituitary gland is unable to produce its hormones in sufficient quantities. The pituitary gland is a small, pea-sized gland situated below the brain, just behind the bridge of the nose. It is responsible for secreting hormones that control the functioning of several other hormone glands in the body like the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testicles. In hypopituitarism, the reduced amount of pituitary hormones disturbs the body's normal functions, such as growth, blood pressure and reproduction.


The symptoms of hypopituitarism include:

  • Increased sensitivity towards cold
  • Poor appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Swelling in the face
  • Disturbed menstrual cycles
  • Pubic hair loss
  • Infertility
  • Weight loss
  • Low sexual appetite
  • Decreased facial or body hair in men
  • Retarded growth in children


The causes of hypopituitarism include:

  • Injury to the head
  • Stroke
  • Brain infections like meningitis
  • Radiation treatment
  • Autoimmune inflammation
  • Excessive loss of blood during childbirth
  • Genetic mutations
  • Tuberculosis
  • Inflammatory diseases like sarcoidosis
  • Presence of tumours in the brain or pituitary gland
  • Brain surgery


The risk of developing hypopituitarism increases if a patient has suffered a recent head injury or has gone through radiation treatment that may have caused damage to the pituitary gland. 


The risk of developing hypopituitarism due to child birth can be decreased by taking proper obstetric care. Regular monitoring and health check-ups especially during periods of stress, infections may help in preventing the disease.

How is it diagnosed?

In order to diagnose hypopituitarism, the doctor conducts the following tests to check the levels of various hormones like Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Growth Hormone and Thyroid Stimulating Hormon...

How is it treated?

Treatment for hypopituitarism includes treating the underlying cause to completely or partially restore the pituitary function. The doctor opts for certain drugs which act as a replacement for the pituitary hormones that the body would have manufa..

  • Corticosteroids

    These are oral drugs that act as a replacement for the adrenal hormones.

  • Levothyroxine

    This medicine acts as a replacement for thyroid hormones.

  • Sex hormones

    Sex hormones used for men are testosterone while estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone are used for women to treat hypopituitarism.

  • Growth hormone

    The growth hormone, when injected into the skin, promotes growth in children.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should consult a doctor if any signs and symptoms associated with hypopituitarism are observed. One should seek medical help if one experiences severe headache, visual disturbances, confusion or a drop in blood pressure which might indicate a sudden bleeding in the pituitary gland. 

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta ensures expert care for its patients who are diagnosed with hypopituitarism at the Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetology.

The Endocrinology & Diabetology division offers expert care for various metabolic, pituitary..

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