Hypopituitarism | Overview


What is hypopituitarism?

Hypopituitarism is a disorder in which your body doesn’t make enough pituitary hormones. The pituitary gland is a small, bean-shaped gland at the base of your brain. It plays a role in controlling your body’s endocrine system, a group of glands that produce and secrete hormones to regulate your body’s processes.

In hypopituitarism, the pituitary gland fails to produce or doesn’t produce enough of one or more of its hormones. When your pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, your body functions are affected.

The pituitary gland is responsible for releasing:

  • Adrenocoricotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and other hormones to help your body deal with stress.
  • Anti-diuretic hormone, which controls urine production.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone, which works with luteinizing hormone to stimulate sperm production in men and egg development and ovulation in women.
  • Growth hormone, which controls bone and tissue growth. It also maintains the balance of fat and muscle tissue in the body.
  • Luteinizing hormone, which controls testosterone production in men and estrogen in women.
  • Prolactin, which controls the development of breasts and the production of breast milk in women.
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone, which stimulates your thyroid gland to make other hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/07