Pituitary Tumors

Know More About Pituitary Tumors

The pituitary gland is a pea-sized organ located at the base of the brain. The gland is connected to the hypothalamus through blood vessels and nerve fibers. It is involved in maintaining heart rate, growth, and regulating other glands. It is, sometimes, also referred to as the master gland. Pituitary cancer or tumors are very rare and in most cases, turn out to be benign.

The pituitary tumors might lead to the development of too many hormones that can interfere with the normal functioning of the body. An abnormal division of cells occurs in the pituitary gland that leads to the formation of lumps. Large tumors can interfere with functioning and can lead to fluctuation in hormone levels.

Causes of pituitary tumor

  • The sudden division of cells in the pituitary gland remains unknown. The gland is responsible for the regulation of various functions like growth and reproduction. The genetic modifications might have something to do with the development of tumors.
  • The issues like multiple endocrine neoplasias and type 1(MEN 1) increase the risk of developing pituitary tumors. Genetic testing is done for the detection of these disorders.
  • Other diseases like carney complex, isolated familial acromegaly, and McCune-Albright syndrome can lead to the formation of such tumors.

Types of pituitary tumors

These are the types of tumors that might form in the pituitary gland:

Non-functional adenomas

These are the most commonly occurring tumors in the pituitary gland. The symptoms related to the tumor only become visible when a certain size of the same is achieved. These tumors do not promote the production of the extra hormone. The large tumors crush the normal pituitary cells.

ACTH Producing Tumors

ACTH or adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulates glucocorticoids responsible for handling metabolism. Excess production of ACTH leads to weakening of the immune system and the development of tumors as well. High blood pressure can also be observed during this condition.

Prolactin producing tumors

These are a form of benign tumors that produce excess amounts of prolactin. The females can experience an irregular menstrual cycle, and conditions of breastmilk while men may suffer from erectile dysfunction, reduced sperm count, and less body hair.

Growth hormone-producing tumors

As the name suggests, these tumors are responsible for the production of excess growth hormones. It leads to the development of a condition called gigantism. It involves deepened voice, sleep apnea, joint pain, extra growth of facial bones, low glucose tolerance, and wide spacing between teeth.

Signs and Symptoms

The location and the type of tumor developed to determine the symptoms to some extent. This is because the symptoms will vary on the basis of fluctuation in the various hormone levels.

  • Blurry vision or vision loss
  • Headache, nausea, and vomiting
  • Irregular or absence of menstruation
  • Unwanted weight gain or weight loss
  • Increased production of urine
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Joint pain 
  • Misaligned teeth


Several diagnosis methods are applied to find out if the tumors are present in the pituitary gland. Some of them are

Blood and urine samples

The blood samples determine the levels of various substances like cell count, proteins, and several others. The urine samples are also taken to look for any kind of infections or abnormalities. This is done to follow the correct path for treatment further.

Brain Imaging tests

These include the tests like MRI and CT Scan which stands for magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography respectively. These use magnetic fields, radio waves, and equipment like computers to produce detailed images of the inner parts of the organs. It helps the doctors to determine the presence of tumors and probably their size and location too.

Tests for vision

This is done to check if the eyesight has been impaired in any way. It could be anything ranging from peripheral vision to complete damage to eye nerves.

What could be the side effects of these treatments?

  • Some of the symptoms that may be experienced by the patient by consuming medications are headache, vomiting, nausea, nasal stiffness, high blood pressure, muscle aches, liver toxicity (in severe cases), and others.
  • The use of radiation therapy might lead to issues like skin changes, feeling tired, issues in concentrating, hair loss, headache, etc
  • The surgeries performed might lead to the formation of blood clots, drug reactions, infection, pain, damage to surrounding tissues, slow recovery, and much more.

Treatments for pituitary tumors

With the progression in modern science, the scope of treatments has also increased. Various treatments are used individually or in combination to deal with the condition.


Surgeries are the primary treatments used for handling such situations. It could be done in two ways depending on the location and size of the tumors.
The endoscopic transnasal transsphenoidal approach is used by doctors to remove the tumor from the sinuses and nose. The surgeons do not need an external incision to complete the process and hence, there is no visible scar. Treating the tumor through this method might be troublesome if the size is large.
A craniotomy can be done to treat the tumors using the upper region of the scalp. This is done by creating an incision in the scalp and helps to reach tumors with more ease.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy can be performed in various ways. The doctors may perform stereotactic radiosurgery where radiation of a single high dose targets the tumor without any incision. External beam radiation produces radiation in minor amounts over time.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy involves using computers for targeting the tumors from different angles and kill them. Proton beam therapy involves using protons for targeting cancer cells.

Use of medications

The use of certain medicines is done to reduce the symptoms and help patent receive relief from pain and discomfort. Drugs like cabergoline and bromocriptine can be administered for prolactinomas, mitotane and ketoconazole help in treating ACTH-producing hormones, and lanreotide and lanreotide can be used to treat growth hormone-secreting tumors.

Why should you choose Ayurveda?

Ayurveda, being a traditional system of medicine involves working on the body’s immune system with minimal or no side effects. The system completely relies human body on the natural systems of healing. The understanding of human physiology allows this field to treat patients with complete care and using herbal medicines. The treatments are affordable and effective that ensure long-lasting relief and comfort from the diseases. The nature-based therapies are something that plays a great role in soothing the body and curing issues.

Ayurveda enables the body to restore a balance between mind, body, soul, and senses. Panchakarma treatments like Virechanam, Basti, Nasyam, Vaman, and Raktmokshsanam are helpful to heal the body and rejuvenate it. They aim towards eliminating the toxins of the human body. This system of medicine has existed for years and has been contributing to the good health and well-being of the people. The Ayurvedic approach heals the body through correct diet, lifestyle, and building strong immunity levels.