The pituitary gland is a very small gland. It is almost the size of a pea that is found at the base of the brain. It is also known as the master gland of the body because it produces many types of hormones for the normal functioning of the body. The hormones that pituitary gland produce travels the whole body, directing other processes of the body or stimulating other glands to produce other hormones. A disorder in the pituitary gland can cause various hormonal problems, some of them are listed below.
Problems in Reproductive Functioning
Prolactin hormone produced by the pituitary gland stimulates breast milk production after the birth of the child. If its level is high, it affects the hormones that control the functioning of ovaries in women and testes in men. It can, therefore, affect menstrual periods, sexual functions, and fertility.
Growth hormone helps a child to grow properly and also maintains healthy muscles and bones in adults. It also affects fat distribution in the body. Excess growth hormone causes a disease called Acromegaly. Excess secretion of the hormone can also lead to gigantism in children.
Disturbs the Blood Pressure and Glucose Level
Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) stimulates the production of cortisol by the adrenal gland (a small gland on top of the kidney). Cortisol is a stress hormone that maintains blood pressure and glucose level. When a person is in stress, the adrenal gland produces larger amount of cortisol. Too much ACTH causes the problem of blood pressure and diabetes.
Disturbs the Thyroid Hormone
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) help the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormone then regulates the body’s metabolism, growth, nervous system, and energy balance. Too much TSH causes hyperthyroidism and too less causes hypothyroidism.
Luteinizing hormone stimulates testosterone production in men and egg release in women. Therefore, less production of this hormone can cause infertility in men or women.
Apart from this, follicle-stimulating hormones also stimulate the ovaries and produce estrogen and development of an egg in women and promote sperm count in men. Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone work together for proper fertility and sexual function in both men and women.
The antidiuretic hormone regulates sodium levels in the blood and water balance in the body. Lack of this hormone results in excess of urination and thirst, a condition that is called diabetes insipidus.
If the pituitary gland doesn’t work properly, it brings the whole-body system upside down. It can also lead to pituitary disorders like a pituitary tumour that is a more severe condition. This is why one should consult a doctor and opt for regular check-ups so that the problem can be diagnosed at an early stage and can be cured properly and completely.