Overproduction of Hormones

 

Adrenocorticotrophic hormone

Overproduction of ACTH leads to over stimulation of the adrenal glands which inturn produce too much cortisol, leading to an illness called Cushing's disease.

Growth hormone

During childhood, overproduction of growth hormone can cause the child to grow faster than normal. If this is left untreated the resulting adult can be extremely tall a condition known as Gigantism.

gigantism

 

image courtesy of http://www.booneville.k12.ms.us/science/A&P/gigantism.jpg

Initially this condition can easily go unnoticed as changes in shoe size and height are gradual.
 Overproduction of growth hormone in adults can lead to a condition called Acromegaly.

 

Prolactin

Overproduction of prolactin is called Hyperprolactinaemia. This can be caused by:

  • certain medications e.g anti-sickness tablets
  • underactive thyroid gland
  • PROLACTINOMA - functioning tumour- a benign tumour which produces prolactin itself

Symptoms 

IN MEN - Loss of sex drive, impotence and the production of breast milk
IN WOMEN - Irregular or absent periods resulting in problems with fertility. Production of breastmilk when not actually pregnant.

Treatment

Tablets which result in reduced prolaction secretion.

 

Infertility

Cause:This is an extremely common problem which affects nearly one in 6 couples.  A common cause of pituitary related infertility is high prolactin levels. These high levels are often a result of a pituitary tumour (Prolactinoma)

Treatment: Levels of prolactin can be fairly easily lowered by taking tablets e.g Cabergoline.