Adrenal / Pituitary

With over 20 years of experience in the field, Dr. Scumpia provides diagnosis, treatment and management of all types of disorders related to the pituitary and adrenal glands.

ADRENAL GLAND

  • The two adrenal glands are located above the kidneys. They secrete the following hormones: cortisol, aldosterone, DHEAS, and small amounts of testosterone and estrogen.
  • Symptoms of adrenal malfunction: extreme fatigue, low blood pressure, severe palpitations and tremors, also fainting, extreme pigmentation of the skin, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), salt cravings, obesity, skin stretchmarks, and finally high blood pressure which is unresponsive to treatment.
  • Diseases of the adrenal gland include: Addison’s Disease (adrenal failure, a life-threatening condition), Cushing’s Disease (excessive cortisol production), Pheochromocytoma (adrenaline-producing tumor), Conn Syndrome (aldosterone-producing tumor), and CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia).
  • Adrenal gland disorders are difficult to diagnose and treat.  Entrust an endocrinologist with special expertise in adrenal gland disorders to diagnose and threat them.

PITUITARY GLAND

  • Your pituitary gland is the queen mother of all the glands. It functions as a sophisticated computer, receiving instant feedback from the peripheral glands. It is a pea-sized gland located near the hypothalamus by the brain, half an inch from the base of your nose.
  • The pituitary gland controls the thyroid, adrenal gland, ovaries, testicles, lactation, growth, and thirst mechanisms. The hormones produced by the pituitary gland are: TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), ACTH (adrenal corticotropic hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), prolactin, GH (growth hormone), and ADH (anti-diuretic hormone).
  • Pituitary diseases are difficult to diagnose and treat.  Entrust and endocrinologist specializing in pituitary conditions to diagnose and treat them.
  • Symptoms include: lactation in the absence of pregnancy, low thyroid levels, low adrenal levels, low testosterone, absence of menstrual periods, excessive growth in children, coarsening of facial features, enlargement of breasts in males, excessive thirst, severe headaches, and double vision and tunnel vision.
  • Diseases of the pituitary gland include: secondary hypothyroidism, secondary adrenal insufficiency, gigantism in children, acromegaly in adults, hypogonadism (low testosterone in males), diabetes insipidus, secondary amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods), and Cushing’s Disease (excessive adrenal function).
  • More common diseases of the pituitary gland include prolactin-producing tumors, which usually require medical treatment with Bromocriptine or Dostinex, and secondary adrenal insufficiency produced by exogenous administration of prednisone.
  • The majority of the other tumors of the pituitary gland, including growth-hormone producing, ACTH-producing, will require surgical management.

Pituitary Gland FAQs

When should I have my pituitary hormones checked?

Pituitary hormones should be checked under carefully controlled conditions and under the supervision of an endocrinologist because of their very short half-life and the need to interpret them alongside peripheral hormones. Formal pituitary assessment should be done for any of the symptoms described above, specifically targeting the hormone which could explain the symptoms of the patient.

What imaging studies are required for the pituitary gland?

The most important imaging study is an MRI, which should be performed for any patient who is suspected to have a pituitary tumor.

Should I have my pituitary gland checked if I had a brain injury?

Any person who has had head trauma, loss of consciousness or repeated small head injuries (for example in football players) should have their pituitary monitored throughout their lifetime.

I had pituitary surgery and I feel fine. Should I have my pituitary hormones checked?

Any person who has a history of pituitary surgery should be under constant hormonal monitoring by an endocrinologist.

Adrenal Gland FAQ’s

What is adrenal fatigue?

This is a myth and does not exist as a specific medical condition. You either have adrenal failure, which requires immediate treatment, or you don’t have an adrenal condition. It is akin to saying, “You are a little bit pregnant.” This concept is of utmost importance because taking adrenal hormone (hydrocortisone or prednisone) in the absence of a firm diagnosis could lead to severe complications, including obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis.

I am taking hydrocortisone for adrenal failure. Should I increase the dose if I feel tired?

Any increase or decrease in the hydrocortisone dose should be done only under the guidance of your endocrinologist because of possible severe complications.

I have Addison’s Disease. Should I take DHEA?

There is some scientific evidence that you will benefit from taking DHEA if your DHEA levels are low.

I have hirsutism and acne. Should I be tested for the adrenal gland?

Though polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of hirsutism and acne, PCOS may be actually secondary to CAH, which is most commonly found in people of Mediterranean ancestry.

The diagnosis is extremely important for any potential offspring in case the father may have the same gene.

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