The size of a cherry stone, the pituitary gland (medically “hypophysis”) is located approximately at the level of the root of the nose in a hollow in the bone. The pituitary gland is a central control organ in hormone metabolism. Vital hormones are produced in it, including:
The pituitary gland is composed of an anterior lobe and a posterior lobe. The pituitary gland is connected to the brain via the pituitary stalk. Between the two lobes, the hormone MSH is produced, which regulates UV protection of the skin, appetite and sexual arousal.
The anterior lobe is a gland consisting of several cell types in which hormones are produced. These are released into the bloodstream to reach target organs. The posterior lobe is part of the brain. Its job: to store and release the two hormones vasopressin (ADH) and oxytocin. Click here for audio version
Various diseases can disrupt the pituitary gland’s hormone production and secretion, causing it to produce either too many or too few hormones: A tumor can press on the pituitary gland, inflammation of the brain or meninges can affect function, and an accident or surgical procedure can negatively affect the pituitary gland. The rare diseases of the pituitary gland are mostly (benign) pituitary tumors (adenomas). These can cause different symptoms.
In order to find the cause(s) of the disease and to alleviate the symptoms, the medical history is followed by special examinations of the blood as well as imaging procedures, for example an MRI.