The pituitary, or "master" gland, controls many vital communications systems in the body. Hormones produced by the pituitary control, among other things, stress response, thyroid, growth, male and female hormones, and water balance. Pituitary function may be affected by a number of conditions, including growths in the pituitary, prior radiation or trauma.
After a thorough history and physical exam, special laboratory dynamic testing to assess function may be required. Due to the close proximity of the pituitary gland to vital structures—the brain, nerves and eyes—the size of the gland is measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) to complete the evaluation.
Specific treatment of hormone deficiencies or excess hormone production is routinely addressed by UF Health endocrinologists, who work closely with UF Health Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology and Radiation Oncology teams to achieve the best outcome for patients with pituitary disease. An emerging area of investigation is the hypothalamus, a portion of the brain that controls both pituitary and whole body well-being.