Pituitary Disorder Specialist

Utah Endocrinology Associates

Located in Salt Lake City, American Fork, and South Ogden, UT

The most common pituitary disorder, a noncancerous tumor, affects 10-22% of all adults. In some cases, you may not have symptoms, but when symptoms appear, they can affect nearly any part of your body. At Utah Endocrinology Associates, Alireza Falahati, MD, FACE, specializes in pituitary disorders, performing advanced in-house diagnostics that get to the source of your problem. If you have questions about pituitary disorders or your symptoms, schedule an appointment online or call one of the offices in Salt Lake City, American Fork, and Ogden, Utah.

Pituitary Disorder Q & A

What is the pituitary gland?

The pituitary gland is located in your brain. This tiny gland is called the master gland because it regulates many body systems.

Your pituitary gland produces endorphins, growth hormone, and several other hormones that tell other endocrine glands to increase or decrease their hormone production. In this role, the pituitary regulates your thyroid gland, adrenal glands, kidneys, ovaries, and testes.

What pituitary disorder is most common?

The most common pituitary disorder is a benign or noncancerous tumor called a pituitary adenoma. Pituitary tumors cause three primary problems, depending on the part of the pituitary gland affected and the size of the tumor. Tumors may cause:

  • Hormone deficiencies
  • Overproduction of hormones
  • Pressure on the brain

When a pituitary tumor produces hormones, it’s called a functioning tumor.

What symptoms do pituitary disorders cause?

You can develop a wide range of health conditions from a pituitary tumor. Conditions caused by hormone overproduction include Cushing’s disease, acromegaly, hyperprolactinemia, and hyperthyroidism. 

An under-functioning pituitary gland may lead to problems such as hypopituitarism, adult-onset growth hormone deficiency, and diabetes insipidus. This type of diabetes is different from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes because it develops as a result of fluid imbalance

There are too many potential symptoms to provide a comprehensive list, but these are a few examples:

  • Stunted growth
  • Overgrowth
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle loss
  • Infertility
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Erectile dysfunction

Though pituitary tumors are usually slow growing, they can press against your brain as they get larger, causing headaches and vision problems. However, a sudden headache and vision loss are signs that the tumor has started to bleed — an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

How do you treat pituitary problems?

After performing a thorough medical exam, blood tests, and diagnostic imaging to verify a tumor, Dr. Falahati determines the best treatment based on the tumor’s size and location, whether it produces hormones, and your overall health.

Your treatment may include hormone therapy to restore low hormone levels or medications that help reduce hormone production. If the tumor is large enough to cause pressure in your brain or it’s a functioning tumor, Dr. Falahati may recommend surgery to remove the tumor or radiation therapy to stop tumor growth.

If you have questions about your symptoms or need treatment for pituitary problems, call Utah Endocrinology Associates or schedule an appointment online.