Understanding The Pituitary Glands And The Disorders Associated With It: Endocrinology Research

The glands present at the lower part of the brain called the pituitary glands are covered and protected by a body structure called the sella turcica. The protection is firm and there is hardly any room for expansion thus limiting the disorders arising from it. These glands are made up of two distinct parts, the front known as the anterior lobe and the back called the posterior lobe. The frontal part constitutes the major part of the pituitary glands having more than 75% of the total weight.

The function of this part of the endocrine system is to control the way other endocrinology glands operate. On the other hand, this gland is controlled by the hypothalamus which lies just above these and work by analyzing the content of the hormones produced. This helps them evaluate whether further generation of the same is required. For this reason, sometimes, these glands are appropriately called the master glands. The two glands, i.e. the pituitary and the hypothalamus are connected to each other by a narrow stalk in which connecting blood vessels used to release the hormones are present.

The hormones produced by the pituitary glands are 6 in number. All of them have different purposes which are specific to their characteristics. The common feature of all of them is that they are slow in their working and it takes a period of years before the affect can be seen. The various hormones released are those of the growth hormone, regulating the physical development of the body parts, hormones that induce the thyroid glands to produce their hormones thereby regulating their functionality, the adrenocorticotropic hormone that works similar to the thyroid hormones and helps in stimulating the adrenal glands and the 2 others which are responsible for activating metabolism in the human reproductive organs.

The malfunctioning of the pituitary glands is possible due to various reasons. The most common problem is the formation of a tumor in the region which can induce the pituitary glands to produce extra quantities of specific hormones which can lead to a state of hormonal imbalance. In a similar manner, they can also reduce the normal production which has the same consequences. In rare cases, it has been noted that the tumors have been responsible for increasing the size of these endocrine glands but not affecting the levels of hormones produced.

As the master glands, the effects of such a tumor formation can be fatal. There are a number of tests that can be conducted by the doctors in order to correctly diagnose it. The most common methods are the CT and the MRI wherein all the interior parts of the body can be properly studied. These tests are full proof and are used to study all sorts of problems related to the human brain.

The treatment administered generally includes external stimulation for reducing or increasing the production of these hormones as the case may be. In some complex cases, there might be a requirement for a surgery under which the tumor would be taken out manually.