Pituitary Facts to Remember

A list of facts from the PNA about pituitary disease that bear repeating. They form the basis of what we do – and the message we are intent on spreading. Words to live by!

  1. The pituitary is the master gland of the human body. It is so called because many parts of the body are directly or indirectly affected by its function.

  2. The pituitary is the center of human sexuality and reproduction. Other parts of the body do most of the work but the pituitary initiates and controls the processes! We know that between 30 and 40% of the population suffers sexual dysfunction at sometime in their life.

  3. The pituitary controls the life hormone, ACTH, or (simplified) cortisol without which we would soon die. Cushing's disease, then, from the adrenal or pituitary gland is a deadly and very difficult disease both to diagnose and treat.

  4. The pituitary controls/regulates the thyroid gland. Rarely, if ever, does one function well without the other. This is often overlooked by many doctors.

  5. The pituitary, to a very large extent, regulates the metabolism in your body. How much or how little you eat, and disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, primarily stem from pituitary function. So, of course, do obesityand simple (but often hard to correct) weight gain.

  6. The pituitary regulates mood, behavior and a startling number of mental and emotional health issues. (Bi-polarity has been linked to the pituitary gland).

  7. Your size, shape and height are directly linked to growth hormone, which is also produced by the pituitary gland.

  8. By a separate hormone, the pituitary regulates thirst and urinary output (diabetes insipidus results).

  9. Breast milk, the opening of the birth canal and regulation of the menstrual cycle are also pituitary gland functions!

There are many more things to know, but you can find it all in the Pituitary Patient Resource Guide. However, and this is the key: next time someone asks "What is so special about the pituitary gland?" Your answer should be - EVERYTHING! It is a HUGE issue, but a very small gland!