The Basics

New to the pituitary gland or not sure where to start? We'll explain what the pituitary gland is and take you through the first things you need to know.

Causes of Pituitary Conditions
There are a range of causes for pituitary conditions, the most common being a non-cancerous tumour. Other causes include traumatic brain injury.
Major Endocrine Glands and Other Organs
There are a number of endocrine glands across the body which work together to secrete hormones. There are also several organs that contain endocrine tissue.
What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals which circulate in the blood stream and spread around the body to carry messages or signals to different parts of the body.
What is the Pituitary Gland?
The pituitary gland secretes hormones which carry messages around the body via the bloodstream. It controls several hormone glands in the body, including the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries and testes, so is often described as the master gland.
See all


Pituitary conditions occur when the pituitary gland disfunctions and causes an imbalance of hormones. This may be due to a non-cancerous tumour. Find out more about the conditions using the boxes below.

Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that results from too much Growth Hormone in the body. It can cause parts of the body to grow abnormally.
Cushing’s Disease
Cushing's disease is a condition caused by having too much of a hormone called cortisol in your body. It can be serious if it's not treated. Symptoms usually develop gradually and so the diagnosis may not be clear for some time.
AVP Deficiency (Diabetes Insipidus)
Arginine Vasopressin Deficiency (AVP-D), formerly known as Cranial Diabetes insipidus (DI), is caused by a problem with either the production, or action, of the hormone vasopressin (AVP). If you have DI your kidneys are unable to retain water.
See all

Symptoms and Diagnosis

There are a range of different symptoms that are associated with different pituitary conditions. There are a number of tests that can help to diagnose pituitary conditions. You can find out more by clicking the boxes below.

Symptoms of pituitary conditions
There are several symptoms associated with pituitary conditions. These can relate to different pituitary conditions and people will not display all of these symptoms, only the ones relevant to their particular condition.
Diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease
Cushing's disease is a condition caused by having too much of a hormone called cortisol in your body. Due to the range of symptoms that occur over a long time period it can be difficult to diagnose Cushing’s.
Advice on getting a pituitary diagnosis
As pituitary conditions are considered rare; your GP may not have come across another person impacting by a pituitary condition. They may investigate more common conditions before considering pituitary. The suggestions given below could be helpful for you when approaching your GP.
See all


Some people may need surgery to remove a pituitary tumour whilst others may take replacement hormones. All of the treatment options are outlined below, click on the box to find out more.

Some people affected by pituitary conditions may need surgery to remove the tumour. 
Hormone Therapy
If your pituitary gland isn't functioning properly, you may not produce hormones that are essential for your wellbeing and vital bodily functions. You may need to take hormone replacements which will be prescribed to you by your doctor.
See all

Living with a pituitary condition

Many pituitary conditions are long term, and can have a significant impact on how you live your life. The information below outlines some guidance that you may find useful as you live day to day with a pituitary condition, or support someone who does.

Caring for a child with a Pituitary condition
If your child has a pituitary condition, you need to know how to live with giving them additional care day to day. Here is some information and resources to help.
Caring for an adult with a Pituitary condition
Some adults may need additional support from someone they live with. We can provide support for people caring for others with a pituitary condition.
Coping Emotionally
Being faced with a pituitary condition, with possible life-long implications can be puzzling. We provide support to help you navigate this.
Having a long-term conditions may impact your ability to work, however employers should be able to provide relative adjustments to support you.
School and College
Living with a pituitary condition can sometimes be challenging with regard to going to school, homework, exams and going on outings.
See all

Healthcare Professionals

We are here to work with you to help support anyone affected by a pituitary condition. Your expert care and our additional support services, can ensure the best care for patients.

Endocrine Teams
We are here to work with you to help support anyone affected by a pituitary condition. We have a range of support services and information for your patients.
Information for GPs
If you have a patient with a pituitary condition then we are here to offer additional support and guidance.
As a pharmacist you are on the front line of healthcare and may come into contact with a pituitary patient who is dependent on hydrocortisone (HC). Hospital pharmacists might also be involved in hydrocortisone prescribing, for a patient on a ward or a newly diagnosed patient through the Endocrinology Department.
See all