Pituitary tumor symptoms

A pituitary tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a small bean sized gland in the center of the brain just above and behind the nose and behind the eyes. Pituitary tumors are common in both men and women. The presence of a pituitary tumor may not cause any symptoms at all for some people. In fact, 25% of all people who develop small pituitary tumors can go undiagnosed for their entire life. Those in the medical field have not determined what the cause of these tumors is. However a person who develops a pituitary tumor is commonly thought to have inherited tendency for it.

When a person begins to exhibit pituitary tumor symptoms may are usually because of the result of pressure being put on adjacent intracranial structures as the tumor increases in size. Some common pituitary tumor symptoms include frontal headaches, dizziness, vision problems, head tilting, nausea, vomiting, and personality changes or dementia. There are different kinds of pituitary tumors. The particular kind of person has can cause them to exhibit certain symptoms.

When a person has a pituitary tumor that is a thyrotropin (TSH) secreting adenoma (tumor) they can also experience the following pituitary tumor symptoms:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • infertility or loss of menstrual periods
  • heat or cold intolerance
  • abnormal growth
  • high blood pressure
  • decreased libido
  • abnormal breast milk production or leakage from nipples
  • painful intercourse
  • brittle bones
  • calcium deficiency
  • bone fractures
  • vaginal dryness
  • impotence
  • weight loss
  • rapid heart rate
  • frequent bowel movement
  • shortness of breath

The pituitary tumor symptoms that are associated with a growth hormone secreting adenoma are:

  • sleep apnea
  • enlargement or swelling of the hand, foot, or tongue
  • changes in facial features
  • changes in ring or shoe size
  • spreading teeth or development of an overbite or in under bite
  • facial paralysis on one side, also known as Bell’s palsy
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • joint pain
  • tenderness in the foot or teeth
  • excessive sweating
  • oily skin

The pituitary tumor symptoms that are associated with an ACTH adenoma which is usually associated with Cushing’s disease are:

  • development of moon face or round face due to fat buildup in the face
  • development of upper back hump
  • hyperglycemia
  • diabetes
  • weak muscles and bones
  • flushed face
  • thin skin
  • backaches
  • skin ulcers
  • bruises
  • hypertension
  • weight gain
  • mood swings
  • excessive hair growth
  • vertebral compression fractures
  • osteoporosis in the ribs
  • decreased fertility in men

When the patient is exhibiting pituitary tumor symptoms the doctor will normally prescribe an MRI scan. The MRI scan can reveal the presence of a pituitary tumor. However, a definite diagnosis of the type of tumor is usually only found during surgery. The treatment for pituitary tumors also involves radiotherapy and drug therapy. Sometimes hormone replacement therapy is used. Pituitary tumors are usually able to be cured. Most people will have to take hormone replacement therapy for the rest of their life however once the gland is removed. A pituitary tumor can exhibit symptoms and as either being physically or biochemical. A large pituitary tumor will put pressure on the entire pituitary gland and the nearby structures in the face. When there is a family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia there is an increased risk for the development of pituitary tumors and becoming the victim of the symptoms that they cause. Various other glands in the endocrine system can also develop multiple tumors as well. People who are at risk for developing pituitary tumors can undergo genetic testing to determine if they are at risk for this disorder.

Last updated on Jan 15th, 2011 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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