The pituitary gland is a tiny gland at the base of the brain that produces a large number of the hormones controlling growth, sexual development and water balance. The gland also produces hormones that control many other hormone-secreting glands, such as the thyroid gland. Most pituitary disorders are caused by tumours that alter the output of particular pituitary hormones.

Some Pituitary Disorders

Pituitary Tumours

Pituitary tumours are non-cancerous or cancerous growths in the pituitary
gland that may cause hormonal disturbances in many other hormone glands in the body including the ovaries, thyroid and adrenals.

A prolactinoma is a pituitary tumour that causes excessive secretion of prolactin, a hormone that influences fertility and breast milk production. It is more common in women, where it is usually associated with disturbances to the menstrual cycle.


This is excessive growth of parts of the face and body due to overproduction of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.


Hypopituitarism is insufficient production initially of some and then of all pituitary hormones. It rarely occurs before puberty, when it may lead to infantilism.

Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus is inadequate production of, or resistance to, the effects of the pituitary hormone involved in controlling water balance, antidiuretic hormone (ADH), so that large volumes of urine are lost from the body.

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