18June2018

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Hypopituitarism- Drug Today Medical Times

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Hypopituitarism is a rare disease in which the pituitary gland fails to produce one or more of its hormones or doesn’t produce enough of them. 45.5 people out of 100,000 have been diagnosed with hypopituitarism with 4.2 new cases every year. The deficiency of pituitary hormone can affect various body functions such as growth, blood pressure and reproduction. This disease was portrayed in the Hollywood movie, Orphan.

It is generally a progressive disorder but sometimes symptoms may appear suddenly. These symptoms are subtle and ignored for years. The affected person may show symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and decreased sex drive, sensitivity to cold or difficulty staying warm, decreased appetite, facial puffiness, anemia, infertility and short stature.

In women, various symptoms are seen such as loss of armpit or pubic hair, infertility, problems with breast feeding, irregular or no menstrual periods and hot flashes. Same symptoms may be seen in males with loss of hair on face, armpits or pubic area and infertility. Children may have problems with height and growth and sexual development.

Some symptoms were associated with severe headache, visual disturbances, confusion or hypotension. It is most frequently triggered by pituitary gland tumour or sudden brain trauma. Most hormones can be controlled by administration of injections or tablets. The first description of the condition was made in 1914 by the German physician Dr Morris Simmonds. It may affect production of only one hormone (selective hypopituitarism) or many hormones (panhypopituitarism).

People suffering from hypopituitarism have 87 percent increased risk of death compared to normal population. This condition is usually permanent and requires lifelong treatment with one or more medicines.

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