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Prolactinoma
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Prolactinoma

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DIABETES AND ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

Endocrine System

Prolactinoma is a condition in which a noncancerous tumor (adenoma) in the pituitary gland in your brain overproduces the hormone prolactin. The major effect of increased prolactin is a decrease in normal levels of sex hormones — estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

Although prolactinoma isn't life-threatening, it can cause vision impairment, infertility and other effects. Prolactinoma is one of several types of tumors that can develop in your pituitary gland. Some pituitary tumors may produce hormones in excess (functioning pituitary tumors), but most don't (nonfunctioning pituitary tumors).

The pituitary gland is a small bean-shaped gland located at the base of your brain. Despite its small size, the pituitary gland influences nearly every part of your body. Its hormones help regulate important functions such as growth, blood pressure and reproduction.

Doctors often are able to effectively treat prolactinoma with medications to restore your prolactin level to normal. Surgery to remove the pituitary tumor also may be an option.

Complications

Particularly in women, prolactinoma can lead to other medical problems, such as:

  • Bone loss (osteoporosis). Too much prolactin can reduce production of the hormone estrogen, resulting in decreased bone density and increasing your risk of osteoporosis.

  • Pregnancy complications. During a normal pregnancy, a woman's pituitary gland enlarges and prolactin production increases. A woman who has prolactinoma and becomes pregnant may experience additional pituitary growth and associated symptoms, such as headaches, changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst or urination, and extreme fatigue. If you have prolactinoma and wish to become or are pregnant, discuss the situation with your doctor so that you can be closely monitored.

Prolactinoma > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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Last Modified : 03/15/08 01:57 AM