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Pituitary: what it is and what role it plays for the body


pituitary gland

The pituitary gland is the endocrine gland located under the base of the brain and with the delicate task of processing very important hormones.

When we talk about the pituitary we mean the most important endocrine gland of the body as well as the one that deals with emitting hormones essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid and adrenal glands. Regarding the pituitary gland and where it is located, its position is at the base of the skull and, more precisely, in the sella turcica.
Small as a pea, it is a sort of conductor without which our body would not be able to carry out some of the most important tasks of all. So let's find out what the pituitary is and how it works.

Pituitary: function and importance from a hormonal point of view

Weighing just over half a gram, the pituitary gland is a gland that emits important hormones.

pituitary gland
pituitary gland

Although very small it divides into two parts which are the posterior pituitary which derives from the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary which, instead, derives from the epithelium. Going instead to the pituitary hormones, some of the many are ACTH which controls the production of cortisol, prolactin, TSH and GH also known as growth hormone.

Often it is precisely through the trend of these hormones that it is possible to understand if the pituitary gland is actually in good health or if, on the other hand, it needs more investigations.

How to check the pituitary

As already mentioned, this very small gland is found in the sella turcica. For this reason, a first check to assess their health is usually that of a CT scan or an MRI. Before that, blood tests usually tend to investigate the hormones secreted by her. If these are too high or too low, the doctor can in fact hypothesize problems of various kinds. And all to get to decide for more in-depth examinations to do.

Then there are symptoms that can act as a wake-up call. These are, frequent changes in body weight, mood changes, fluctuating metabolism, irregular cycles, skin changes, appearance of hair, fragility of capillaries , low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, headache, double vision, etc … Obviously, these are problems that can easily lead to other problems, the doctor will have to perform a correct medical history before thinking about a pituitary problem.


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