Complications of a Pituitary Tumor

Sep 01, 2023
Complications of a Pituitary Tumor
While pituitary gland tumors are usually benign, they can cause serious and far-reaching complications if left untreated. Read on to learn more.

Pituitary adenoma is the name of a noncancerous growth on the pituitary gland, an essential part of the endocrine system responsible for the production of several hormones. The pituitary is often called the master gland, given the importance of its role in monitoring and regulating many body systems. 

Though a pituitary tumor is slow growing and likely not cancerous, it can cause body-wide issues. In addition to primary symptoms of pituitary dysfunction, there are also additional complications that can emerge. 

As pituitary tumor specialists, our doctors at Coast Neurosurgical Associates, located in Long Beach, California, are your partners for diagnosing and treating the symptoms and complications of pituitary tumors. Let’s examine the complications of pituitary tumors.

Complications of a pituitary tumor

While pituitary tumors rarely spread to other parts of the body, they can affect your entire body when left untreated. 

Pituitary apoplexy

Pituitary apoplexy is a that causes internal bleeding. Its signs include:

  • An intense headache or eye problems.
  • Double vision.
  • Loss of sight in one or both eyes.

You may feel confused or mentally impaired and develop nausea or vomiting. Pituitary apoplexy requires emergency medical attention. 

Focal seizures

When a pituitary tumor grows large enough to press on the medial temporal lobe of the brain, you may experience seizures that cause you to lose awareness or consciousness. Others may see you as awake, but you won’t respond normally, and you may have no recollection of the seizure. 

Cardiac complications

When a pituitary tumor causes the overproduction of growth hormone, you may be at an increased risk of heart disease as well as other metabolic conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. 

Cognitive changes

You may notice changes in your cognitive function. Memory could become impaired, and concentrating or thinking clearly may be challenging. Neuropsychological effects can include a reduced ability to handle stress or increased anxiety. Panic attacks and depression may also emerge, and you may experience frequent sleep disruptions. Mood changes, including increased irritability, may also result from the effects of your pituitary tumor. 

Permanent hormone changes

Pituitary tumors may leave you unable to manufacture key hormones naturally. That means you’ll need pituitary hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the rest of your life. 

When facing pituitary problems, call or click to schedule a personal consultation with Coast Neurosurgical Associates. We can diagnose your condition and recommend effective treatment options. Contact our friendly staff to book your visit today.