Post Head Injury Pituitary Workup?
Medpage today reports that new research suggests that moderate to severe brain trauma increases the risk of pituitary problems. Dr Raverot shares that the “results are preliminary, but they confirm the high risk for pituitary disorders after moderate to severe neurologic events, including traumatic brain injury and subarachnoid hemorrhage.” Ischemic stroke probably disturbs pituitary function, however the exact nature of the association has not been thoroughly examined.
What is your pituitary and what does it do?
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that your pituitary is a gland located at the base of the brain and is no larger than a pea, and is responsible for producing many different hormones. Some of the hormones the pituitary gland produces are those for growth, prolactin (for milk production after giving birth), ACTH (which stimulates the adrenal glands), TSH (to stimulate the thyroid gland), FSH (to stimulate the ovaries and testes), LH (to stimulate the ovaries or testes), melanocyte-stimulating hormone (controls skin pigmentation), ADH (to increase absorption of water into the blood by the kidneys), oxytocin (to contract the uterus during childbirth and stimulate milk production).
As you can see, the pituitary does a lot, and damage to the pituitary can have many different consequences. Screening the pituitary after suffering from a moderate to severe brain injury makes sense.