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Pituitary disorders

The NorthShore Neurological Institute (NNI) at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) provides comprehensive treatments for pituitary disorders, from growths to syndromes and everything in between.

Defining terms

What are pituitary disorders?

The pituitary gland, also called the “master gland,” produces hormones regulating important functions such as blood pressure, growth, metabolism, reproduction and more.

Pituitary disorders encompass a broad range of conditions affecting this gland, causing it to make too much or too little of one or more of the various hormones it regulates.


Most commonly, pituitary disorders are caused by the growth of a typically benign tumor, but there can be other causes of hormone disruption within the pituitary gland as well.

Some common conditions include:

  • Acromegaly
  • Adenomas
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leaks
  • Chordoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Cushing disease/syndrome
  • Meningioma
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Prolactinoma
  • Rathke’s cleft cyst
  • Sellar arachnoid cyst
  • Sinonasal carcinoma


Symptoms of pituitary disorders vary depending on the type of hormone production affected. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Changes to vision
  • Diabetes
  • Hair loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Low energy or libido
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss


Pituitary disorders can be difficult to diagnose as they share many symptoms with other medical conditions. Often these symptoms develop slowly.

If it is suspected that you may have a pituitary disorder, one or both of the following diagnostic techniques may be used:

  • Hormone testing
  • High-definition MRI imaging


Pituitary disorders may be treated using either medication, surgery or a combination of the two.

Medication provides a means to help regulate the hormones affected by the disorder by either decreasing hormone production or replacing hormones that are being underproduced.

If removal of the tumor is necessary, surgery is the answer. In these cases, we offer the latest minimally invasive surgical options to allow for the best recovery, including:

  • Expanded endoscopic endonasal surgery
  • Traditional radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

Ready to support you

Safe and effective treatments for pituitary disorders are available, and we are ready to work with you to help choose the right one for you. The voice of our patients guides our decision-making.

NNI at NCH matches each and every patient to a dedicated team of specialists offering the latest innovative technologies and treatment options.

From diagnosis to treatment and beyond, our team of experienced and board-certified experts will partner with you, empowering you to overcome your condition and the uncertainty that may accompany it.