Hypopituitarism is the decreased (hypo) secretion of one or more of the eight hormones normally produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. If there is decreased secretion of most pituitary hormones, the term panhypopituitarism (pan meaning “all”) is used.
The signs and symptoms of hypopituitarism vary, depending on which hormones are undersecreted and on the underlying cause of the abnormality. The diagnosis of hypopituitarism is made by blood tests, but often specific scans and other investigations are needed to find the underlying cause, such as tumors of the pituitary, and the ideal treatment. Most hormones controlled by the secretions of the pituitary can be replaced by tablets or injections. Hypopituitarism is a rare disease, but may be significantly underdiagnosed in people with previous traumatic brain injury