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.