Disorders affecting the pituitary gland

The pituitary gland itself consists of three sections, each of which produces certain hormones:

  • Anterior (front) lobe - contains six unique clusters of hormone-producing cells. These cells make growth hormone, prolactin, ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone).
  • Intermediate lobe - produces melanocyte-stimulating hormone (controls skin pigmentation).
  • Posterior (back) lobe - produces ADH (antidiuretic hormone, also known as vasopressin) and oxytocin (to contract the uterus during childbirth and stimulate milk production).

The pituitary gland is complex in that it affects many parts of the body with many different hormones. Oversecretion or undersecretion of one or more of those hormones can have a wide variety of health effects.

Disorders affecting the pituitary gland require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below are some disorders that affect the pituitary gland, for which we have provided a brief overview.