Does a pituitary gland enlargement mean tumor

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I am rather distressed after my visit from the hospital. What the doctor told me was so unexpected and has shaken me up a bit. I had a mri scan done a few weeks ago and I was told today that my pituitary gland is abnormally large. I am having another mri scan and had some blood taken to find out more.

 My question is, if you have an enlarged pituitary gland, does this mean a tumor or cyst, or can it simply mean something else?

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  • Posted

    In my case it was a micro-tumour and my blood tests revealed that I had excess prolactin (hormone).  The tumour was caused by damage from Haemochromatosis.  In my case, the medication carbergoline reduced the high prolactin and reduced the tumour.

    You will find that one or two of your pituitary hormones will be out of wack.

    Depending on what it is, ask for medication rather than allowing dr to wait for it to get larger so that a surgeon has to remove it.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying. I saw on a piece off paper that it was 6mm to big, do you reakon that is large or small. How do you find life in general on the medication, are you able to work, drive and live life normally or do you feel drugged up or poorly? I am so new to this and it's nice to chat with someone who has been through it.
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  • Posted

    I just googled size of pituitary gland.  One says it is about the size of a kidney bean and another a pea.  For a female 9mm - pregnant 12mm.  I am assuming that the 6mm is the enlargement on top of the usual size.  Is it sticking out one side?

    I had ghastly symptoms before diagnosis from 2002 to 2008.  6 years of excessing sweating of face and head - constant.  I searched everywhere for a solution as drs only came up with two possibilities.  Menopause (you stupid woman) - yes well I had a full hysterectomy 12 years ago and have been on HRT since then.  Well then it is the HRT, you will have to give it up - not likely, says I. Thyroid - blood tests normal.  Then they gave up on me.

    Finally, I decided I would check out botox as I had read it was useful in preventing excessive sweating although I had such a broad canvas to deal with, not like armpits, behind knees, etc.  I went to a Botox dr rather than a cosmetic clinic and she decided she wanted to find out what was wrong with me first - yay!

    She referred me to an endocrinologist who ran the pit. hormone tests and found the excessive prolactin.  Now my sweating is not a symptom of excess prolactin.  However, indirectly it was making my oestrogen ineffective so I was pushed into severe menopause - hence the excessive sweating - severe flashes, except they were constant.  I discovered that a woman with a prolactinoma required extra oestrogen to conserve everything that oestrogen, including bones.

    If I were still of reproductive age, it would have interfered with menstruation, caused leakage from breasts, etc.  So I did not have the normal symptoms.

    Anyway, once I started on the carbergoline, my head and face sweats stopped - it was wonderful.  And the tumour shrunk.  However everytime I have tried to reduce the carbergoline, I get the menopause symptoms again.  So endocrinologist is happy for me to stay of carbergoline, as it is more important for my body to have oestrogen.

    What symptoms do you have?  Thyroid problems, low growth hormone causes excessive weight, high growth hormone thinness and changes to facial structure, some hormones effect your reproduction ability, too much testosterone in a woman, not enough in a man, etc.

    If yours is giving you headaches, vision problems - that is not good.

    I hope your tumour can be resolved just as easy as mine was.

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    • Posted

      Wow that was a really good reply. Thank you. My symptoms also include sweating, a lot of it in intimate areas, I also seem to get too hot or too cold at times. I seem to have visual issues, it's like static from a television all the time with White or black dots depending on the amount of light about, and yes I have very bad headaches which hurt my facial muscles. I also have very bad fatigue. As a women, I have not noticed much with my hormones, apart from very bad period pains, my periods are still regular, my boobs seem fine but I do sweat a lot. I am usually a very bouncy happy person but since yesterday, after finding all this out, I don't seem to have much motivation to even get off the sofa and feeling fed up with feeling poorly all the time.

      i have not yet had my results from the blood tests I had yesterday so I don't know my hormone levels. It's ever so annoying waiting for results, in some ways, the waiting in anticipation is the hardest thing.

      it does sound like you have been on a rollacoaster and it's unfortunate that you are having to treat multiple issues. I think you've been very strong and it's good that you help others. It sounds like the medication you had is working well for you and I'm glad you now know how to make things better.

      Thank you for your replies


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    • Posted

      If you have not had an Iron Studies blood test, ask for that too to eliminate haemochromatosis.  I also had thermal problems, either too hot one minute or too cold the next, although I live in the tropics.  My temperature was not regulating - that is done by the hypothalamus which is just above the pit gland.  I still have that problem at times, and in our winter I find wearing NZ fine merino wool the best - it helps regulate temperature but it is too hot for our humid summer.

      Let me know how your tests results go - and it is important to ask for a copy of the results so that you can go over them yourself.  (Strangely, drs do make mistakes!).

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