Pituitary Conditions (Group of Conditions)

Endocrine Diseases

Pituitary Conditions (Group of Conditions)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The information on the Rare Awareness Rare Education (RARE) Portal is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace professional advice.

Rare diseases typically display a high level of symptom complexity and variability. Individuals diagnosed with the same rare disease may be impacted differently and each person’s experience is unique. Please seek support from qualified healthcare professionals to learn more about the most suitable care and support options for you.

RVA Partner(s)

Australian Pituitary Foundation

For more information on this group of disorders, please refer to Australian Pituitary Foundation.1

A list of specific pituitary conditions can be found at RARE Portal: List of Pituitary Conditions. Individual pages for specific pituitary conditions will be added to the RARE Portal in time.

If you are aware of any additional information that may benefit stakeholders with an interest in this page, or if you notice any broken links or inaccurate information, please let us know via the Contribute page.

Contributors

This page has been co-developed with RVA Partner, Australian Pituitary Foundation.1

Emergency Management

There may be special considerations for the emergency management of individuals living with pituitary conditions presenting to emergency departments.

A medical emergency or serious accident can affect cortisol levels, which can be life-threatening for individuals with some types of pituitary conditions.1 In those cases, an emergency hydrocortisone injection may be necessary. For more information, please visit Australian Pituitary Foundation: Cortisol Replacement Therapy.

Clinical Care Guidelines

There may be specific clinical care guidelines for the individual pituitary conditions.

Information for specific pituitary conditions will be added to the RARE Portal in time.

Summary

Pituitary conditions are a group of disorders that are caused by the pituitary gland not functioning properly and producing too much or too little of a particular hormone.1 The pituitary gland is found in the brain and is controlled by the hypothalamus, which sends signals to tell the pituitary gland when to release its hormones. The pituitary gland itself controls other endocrine (hormone-producing) glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal gland, ovaries and testis.1,2

Hormones travel through the blood and act as signals to various parts of the body.2 Different hormones have different functions. Too much or too little of a hormone caused by pituitary gland dysfunction can affect a particular biological process in the body, resulting in a disorder. A list of these disorders can be found at RARE Portal: List of Pituitary Conditions. Individual pages for specific pituitary conditions will be added to the RARE Portal in time.

Specific information about the more common types of pituitary conditions can be found at:

Symptoms

Symptoms may depend on the type of pituitary condition and the type of hormone(s) that are affected. There can be a wide range of symptoms.

Please speak to your medical term to learn more about the symptoms of a particular pituitary condition.

Information for specific pituitary conditions will be added to the RARE Portal in time.

Cause/Inheritance

Pituitary conditions occur when the pituitary gland produces too much or too little of a particular hormone.1 The most common cause is an abnormal growth (tumour) in the pituitary, which is often non-cancerous (benign) but affects the production of hormones. Pituitary conditions can also be caused by head injuries, infections, certain types of medication, and cancer treatments such as radiation therapy.1,3

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of pituitary conditions may be made based on blood tests to look at pituitary hormone levels and brain scans to look for a tumour or other abnormalities in the pituitary gland.1

Please speak to your medical team to learn more about the specific blood tests as well as other diagnostic tests for a particular pituitary condition.

Information for specific pituitary conditions will be added to the RARE Portal in time.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on the type and the cause of the pituitary condition. It may involve hormone replacement therapy and/or surgery to remove a pituitary tumour if one is present.

Please speak to your medical team to learn more about the possible treatment for your pituitary condition. Treatment will depend on an individual’s specific condition and symptoms.

Information for specific pituitary conditions will be added to the RARE Portal in time.

Clinical Care

Healthcare professionals involved in the treatment of pituitary conditions may include general practitioners (GP), endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons, neuropathologists, neuroradiologists, and radiation and medical oncologists.1 The need for different healthcare professionals may change over a person’s lifetime and extend beyond those listed here.

Hormones Australia: Find An Endocrinologist is a directory of endocrinologists across Australia who are members of the Endocrine Society of Australia. A referral from a GP is required to see an endocrinologist.

ENDOGEN: Clinics lists endocrine genetic clinics across Australia for adults and children diagnosed with, or suspected to have, endocrine genetic disorders.

Research

Please visit Australian Clinical Trials to learn about clinical trials for a specific pituitary condition in Australia; there may not be any clinical trials currently available.

Information regarding clinical trials for a specific pituitary condition in other countries can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov; there may not be any clinical trials currently available.

It is best to discuss your interest in any clinical trials with your medical team to determine suitability and eligibility.

Rare Disease Organisation(s)

Australian Pituitary FoundationRVA Partner Australian Organisation
Website: https://pituitary.asn.au/
Email: [email protected]

Australian Pituitary Foundation (APF) is a national not-for-profit organisation, established to provide valuable support and information for adults and children, along with their families, living with pituitary conditions.

Please note that RVA does not necessarily monitor or endorse each group/organisation’s operational governance.

Social Services

For information on available government and social services that provide support for individuals with a rare disease, please visit the National and State Services pages.

Mental Health

Australian Pituitary Foundation: Support and Wellbeing has information about the support for individuals with pituitary conditions, and their families.

For information on available general mental health services, please visit the ‘Mental Health’ sections listed on the National and State Services pages.

Other

Further information on pituitary conditions can be found at:

References
  1. Australian Pituitary Foundation. Accessed 12 October 2023. https://pituitary.asn.au/
  2. Hormones Australia. Pituitary Gland. Accessed 12 October 2023. https://www.hormones-australia.org.au/the-endocrine-system/pituitary/
  3. Pituitary glands and hormones. Accessed 12 October 2023. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/pituitary-gland
Page Last Updated

22/11/2023 11:30