​Hyperpituitarism

Hyperpituitarism is a disorder in which the over-active pituitary gland produces excessive amount of one or more hormones. The increased activity of the pituitary gland is often caused by the growth of benign tumours (in the pituitary gland), which are secreting in nature (releasing excessive amount of hormones). Depending on the type of cells affected by the tumour, the pituitary glands start to release one or more hormones in excessive amounts.​​

If you believe you may be suffering from hyperpituitarism, you may report of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive growth of hair on women’s face and body

  • Vision loss or double vision

  • Excessive sweating

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Lethargy

  • Headache

  • Muscle weakness

  • Easy bruising​

If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, visit a doctor at the Internal Medicine Service Line​ at the Aga Khan University Hospital.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Initially your doctor will inquire about your medical history and any symptoms that you may be experiencing. Following this, a simple blood test and urine test may be conducted by your doctor to determine which hormones are being over produced. According to the results obtained, further tests may be performed to determine the underlying cause of hyperpituitarism. These tests may be conducted for further investigations including the following:

  • If a prolactinoma (benign tumour which releases prolactin hormones) is suspected, prolactin levels in the blood will be measured. Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary and its main role is to stimulate the milk production in women post-delivery.

  • If acromegaly (elevated growth hormones (GH) in blood) is suspected, often an oral glucose tolerance test is conducted. People with acromegaly do not experience a drop in blood GH levels after drinking glucose, unlike healthy people.   

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan to determine the size and location of tumour.

  • If Cushing’s syndrome (elevated levels of cortisol hormones) is suspected, tests will be conducted to rule out other causes of Cushing’s syndrome, such as tumour on the adrenal gland or the use of corticosteroids medications. 

  • Other tests may include specialized blood sampling in which a sample of blood will be taken from the pituitary gland and the high dose dexamethasone suppression test. ​

Your treatment options will include:

  • Surgery (transsphenoidal adenomectomy) in which a small incision will be made in the nose or upper lip to access the pituitary and remove the tumour. This is a very delicate procedure which is performed by highly experienced surgeons. The surgery is carried out in patients with acromegaly and Cushing’s disease. It is most effective for tumours under ten millimetres in diameter.

  • Medications to shrink large tumours before surgery or, if surgery is not a feasible option.

  • Dopamine agonists (drugs that behave like dopamine) to reduce prolactin secretion to treat patients with prolactinoma.

  • Somatostatin analogs to lower growth hormones and shrink tumours to treat patients with acromegaly.

  • Radiation if surgery is not feasible or to remove the residual tumour post-surgery.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
 
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.
 
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.


The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.