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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Hypopituitarism is a condition where your pituitary gland does not make enough hormones for your body. The pituitary gland is an almond-shaped organ found under the middle part of your brain. Hormones are special chemicals that flow through your blood and control functions of your organs. Your body needs certain amounts of each different hormone to function well. When you lack hormones, you may have mood changes, and your organs and tissues may not function correctly. You may get tired easily, feel weak, and have a greater risk of having heart problems. Males may have problems getting their female partner pregnant. Females may have problems with menstruation and trouble getting pregnant and having babies.
- Your caregiver will ask about any health problems, accidents, or injuries you may have had in the past. You may need blood and urine tests, computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and hormone challenge tests. You may be given hormone replacements to make up for the hormones you lack. Caregivers may treat your other health conditions if that is what is causing your hypopituitarism. This may include treating brain injuries or removing tumors inside your brain. Treating your hypopituitarism may help your body function normally again. Your symptoms may be relieved quickly, and you may prevent any further problems.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Hormone replacements: Caregivers may give you certain hormones to correct your blood levels. These hormones may be given as pills, injections, or skin patches. Certain hormones must be taken at certain times for them to work properly. Some may need to be taken several times a day, every day. You may need to take these hormones for the rest of your life.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- You may need to visit your caregiver every 6 to 12 months. You may need blood or urine tests to measure the amount of hormones in your body. These will help your caregiver know if he needs to make changes to the medicines you are taking. Let your caregiver know if you have any new symptoms after starting treatment. Let your caregiver know if you are planning to get pregnant, he may need to change your medicines.
- You may need to have a bone scan done after you have been taking hormones for a period of time. This test can tell you and your caregiver if your bones are getting weaker and more brittle. Your caregiver may give you medicines or other treatments if your bones become weak.
- You may need to do follow up eye exams if you were having trouble seeing before your treatment.
- You will need to monitor your weight if you are taking hormone replacements. Let your caregiver know if you have a sudden weight gain or loss after starting treatment.
Wear a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace that says you have hypopituitarism. Your caregiver may give you a steroid card to carry that has instructions about your medicines. These will also let others know that you are taking certain medicines if you need emergency help. You may get one from your local drugstore or contact the MedicAlert Foundation listed below:
- MedicAlert Foundation
2323 Colorado Avenue
Turlock , CA 95382
Phone: 1- 888 - 633-4298
Web Address: http://www.medicalert.org
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You are female and your menstrual period stops or becomes irregular.
- You feel very thirsty even after drinking liquids, and you are urinating more than usual.
- You get tired very easily.
- You have problems thinking or remembering things.
- You have gained or lost weight without trying.
- Your mood often changes quickly from being happy to being very sad.
- You have questions about your treatment, condition, and care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You cannot feel or move some parts of your body.
- You feel confused, or have a hard time speaking.
- You feel dizzy, have a bad headache, or you are throwing up.
- You have chest pain and trouble breathing.
- You lose consciousness.
- Your vision suddenly becomes blurred.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.