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Pituitary Disorder

Sarah Fishman MD PhD PC

Endocrinology, Diabetes, Thyroid, Hormone & Weight Loss Specialist located on the border of Midtown Manhattan & Upper East Side, New York, NY

Your pituitary gland is a master gland of the body, sitting just at the base of your brain below the nerves to your eyes. At her practice in Midtown Manhattan, Sarah Fishman, MD, PhD, CNSC, can evaluate issues with your pituitary gland that affect hormone production, including growth hormone, cortisol, and prolactin. If you suspect you have a pituitary disorder, book an appointment online or call the New York City office today.

Pituitary Disorder Q & A

What is a pituitary disorder?

Pituitary disorders are a group of conditions that occur when your pituitary gland makes either excessive or inadequate hormones. Often, pituitary disorders develop when you have a tumor on the gland.

Pituitary disorders are typically noncancerous, but they can have serious effects and may be life-threatening in some cases. So it’s important to seek treatment for a pituitary disorder. 

What are the types of pituitary disorders?

There are many types of pituitary disorders, some of which occur within the pituitary gland itself and others that occur in the glands controlled by the pituitary gland. Disorders include:

Pituitary adenoma

A pituitary adenoma is a tumor of the pituitary gland. Pituitary tumors are usually benign and slow-growing. The adenoma, however, may affect one or more of the hormones produced in the pituitary.  

Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease, also known as Cushing syndrome or hypercortisolism, occurs when you’re exposed to high levels of cortisol for a long period of time. This can be a result of a tumor on the pituitary gland or as a result of excessive steroid use. 

You may develop high blood pressure, weight pain, a rounded face, or purple stretch marks on your skin. Hypercortisolism also weakens your bones and muscles.  

Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that occurs when your pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone during adulthood — usually middle age. You may have an enlarged face, hands, and feet.

Without treatment, acromegaly can be serious and life-threatening. The condition progresses gradually and is sometimes hard to identify.

Prolactinoma

A prolactinoma is a noncancerous tumor on your pituitary gland that produces the hormone prolactin. It’s diagnosed by an excessive amount of prolactin in your blood.

Women usually only have prolactin in their blood while breastfeeding. Men can also develop a prolactinoma that causes erectile dysfunction (ED). Treatment of prolactinoma includes medications that counter the effects of the tumor and shrink it.

Each pituitary disorder is unique, which is why Dr. Fishman prescribes customized, cutting-edge treatment protocols only after diagnosing your disorder and carefully reviewing your symptoms. 

How are pituitary disorders treated?

In many cases, pituitary disorder treatment involves either hormone replacement or medication to block hormone overproduction. For some types of pituitary disorders, you may need surgery to remove a large tumor or a gland that’s overproducing hormones. 

Dr. Fishman may recommend radiation therapy to destroy the malfunctioning tissue or tumor if medication doesn’t help and surgery isn’t a good option for you. 

To learn about treatments for your pituitary disorder, call Sarah Fishman MD PhD PC or schedule an appointment online today.