If you have every attempted to put together a puzzle then you can appreciate the difficulties of understanding the human body. Just like with a puzzle, the body’s parts both inside and out, are all an important part of the overall picture, no matter how large or small they might be. Just like a puzzle, each piece works together forming a large portion of the entire work and creating a new platform for other pieces to become connected. Of course, like a puzzle, it only takes on piece to go missing before the puzzle is impossible to solve and the other pieces no longer function.

One of those mysterious puzzle pieces in your body is called a gland. Your body has many glands that secrete different hormones which transport messages to various organs around your body. One of these glands is the pituitary gland and it is responsible for creating and secreting hormones that regulate growth, sex organ function, blood pressure and the production of breast milk. As you can imagine, you are, whether you know it or not, on an internal tightrope every day as these glands work to produce just the right about of hormones and the hormones work to deliver just the right messages throughout your body. It only takes a very minor disruption to set off a chain of events that can throw all your bodily functions off kilter and make you very uncomfortable.

If you have Prolactinoma, it means that you have a tumor that is benign growing on your pituitary gland. It can be caused by too much prolactin (the substance that helps to create breast milk) in the blood. Although it sounds specifically like something women might get and men avoid, men do sometimes have Prolactinomas as well.

Prolactinoma tumors in women can cause symptoms like infertility, menstrual periods that are irregular, and lactation when not pregnant. In men Prolactinoma can cause erectile dysfunction, infertility and something called gynecomastia which is when a man’s breast tissue becomes dense and large giving him female sized breasts.

Prolactinoma is not a fatal disease, but it does require treatment. Through the use of medication you can decrease the amount of prolactin in your body and continue to regulate it so that you do not have another resurgence of the problem. If oral medications do not work, then surgery is another option. If you are having vision problems then surgery is definitely a course of action to consider. During Prolactinoma surgery the tumor will be removed from your pituitary gland. You may still need to take oral medications after the tumor is removed. Prolactinoma tumors are removed through the nose. If your tumor has spread through your brain, it is possible that your physician will not allow you to have the surgery.

If you notice your breasts lactating when you are not pregnant or nursing, or if you find that your menstrual periods are becoming sparse, if you are a man and you notice significant growth in breast tissue or some erectile dysfunction, then you need to visit your primary care physician. While you may not actually have Prolactinoma you could have a myriad of other disorders. Your primary care physician can run all the necessary tests and find out for sure whether you have Prolactinoma and, if so, what treatment option is best.

Remember, Prolactinoma’s may cause vision problems in some patients but they are not life threatening. It may be scary to be diagnosed with a tumor but stay calm and ask your doctor when you can start your oral medication and hopefully, it will be better without surgery.

Last updated on Dec 7th, 2009 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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