The hypothalamus is a small but important area in the center of the brain. It plays an important role in hormone production and helps to stimulate many important processes in the body and is located in the brain, between the pituitary gland and thalamus.
When the hypothalamus is not working properly, it can cause problems in the body that lead to a wide range of rare disorders. Maintaining hypothalamic health is vital because of this.
Hypothalamic dysfunction is a problem with part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus helps control the pituitary gland and regulates many body functions.
The thyroid gland produces two related hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which play a critical role in thermogenic and metabolic homeostasis. T4 and T3 are normally synthesized and released in response to a combined hypothalamic pituitary signal mediated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the anterior pituitary and thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) from the hypothalamus. There is a negative feedback from thyroid hormone concentration, primarily T3, to TSH production, causing total T4, total T3, free T4, and free T3 concentrations to move in opposition to TSH concentration.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is functionally inadequate. Causes of hypothyroidism include autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto?s thyroiditis, atrophic thyroiditis, and postpartum thyroiditis; iodine deficiency, the most common cause of hypothyroidism in underdeveloped areas; congenital defects; medications or treatments that can result in hypothyroidism; central hypothyroidism in which the thyroid is not stimulated by the pituitary or hypothalamus; and infiltrative processes that may damage thyroid, pituitary, or hypothalamus. These different causes of hypothyroidism are often interrelated. Usually, the exact cause of the hypothyroidism cannot be definitively differentiated.
The pituitary is a small gland (about the size of a kidney bean) located at the base of the brain, just beneath the optic (eye) nerve in a bony area called the sella turcica. It is made up of the anterior (adenohypophysis) and posterior (neurohypophysis) pituitary gland. It is often called the ?master gland? because it produces a number of hormones that regulate other hormone glands in the body. The pituitary is, in turn, regulated by the hypothalamus; a portion of the brain that responds to a variety of nerve and hormonal signals from the environment and the rest of the body.
Anterior pituitary hormones include TSH (thyroid gland), ACTH (adrenal gland), GH (growth hormone), LH and FSH (reproduction) and prolactin (lactation for breast feeding). Posterior pituitary hormones include AHD (water and salt balance) and oxytocin (childbirth).
Pituitary disorders can be due to either too much, or too little pituitary hormone secretion. These disorders can result in a wide variety of different clinical conditions, depending on which hormone signal(s) are disrupted. See below for specific information about different pituitary disorders.
An insulinoma is a small tumor in the pancreas that produces an excess amount of insulin. In most cases, the tumor isn?t cancerous. Most insulinomas are less than 2 centimeters in diameter.
The pancreas is an endocrine organ located behind your stomach. One of its functions is to produce hormones that control the level of sugar in your bloodstream, such as insulin. Normally, the pancreas stops creating insulin when your blood sugar drops too low. This allows your blood sugar levels to return to normal. When an insulinoma forms in your pancreas, however, it will continue to produce insulin, even when your blood sugar is too low. This can lead to severe hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition that can cause blurred vision, lightheadedness, and unconsciousness. It can also be life-threatening.
An insulinoma usually needs to be surgically removed. Once the tumor is removed, complete recovery is very likely. An insulinoma is a rare tumor of the pancreas. It?s made of calls called beta islet cells, the same ones in the pancreas the make insulin and control your blood sugar. Normally, your pancreas makes more insulin when your blood sugar is high and less when your blood sugar is low. But an insulinoma constantly makes insulin, even when your blood sugar gets too low.
You might hear an insulinoma called a "neuroendocrine tumor" because it starts in special cells in your body called neuroendocrine cells. These tumors are usually small (less than an inch), and almost all of them are not cancer. In most cases, surgery can cure them.