The last couple of weeks I have been gradually building up my knowledge of all things Pituitary. I'm not sure if I'm normal, but I really want to know exactly what is wrong with my Pituitary, I feel it helps me deal with the issues that arise, and knowledge is power right? But in all reality, my knowledge is only built off of what I have been told by experts, but also off the Internet....so probably some of what I've learned is rubbish! If you are reading this expecting expert opinion then don't listen to me, go and speak to your Endocrinologist team....they really do know best.
But to carry on for a bit, here's what I've learned. There's all sorts of different Pituitary conditions, but the main two I'll focus on are non working Pituitary's and tumours. Some people are born with non-working Pituitary's and some stop working for whatever reason during life. There are also two types of tumour, either 'functioning' or 'non-functioning'. I had the latter. The way I understand it, a tumour itself may produce hormones in addition to the one's that your Pituitary produce (a hormone overdose if you will) - this is a functioning tumour. For instance, I think Growth Hormone is a common extra hormone produced by a functioning tumour, and the current tallest man in the world has/had a Pituitary tumour, and his size was due to way too much Growth Hormone.
In medical speak, these tumours are called Adenomas. Either a micro-adenoma if it is less than 10mm or macro-adenoma if it is more than 10mm, mine was a 'macro' because if I remember correctly it was about 30mm. Gigantic in other words :-)
Anyway....mine was a non-functioning tumour, in that it did nothing in the way of hormone producing, just enveloped my Pituitary and stopped it working properly. Only when the tumour was removed can the Pituitary recover, although recovery is far from guaranteed. In my case I have been left with just two deficient hormones, Cortisol and Testosterone. As I have some hormones intact, and a couple not working properly I have Hypopituitarism** but if the Pituitary wasn't working at all and no hormones were produced, then it would be pan-Hypopituitarism (thank goodness that isn't the case).
** the other thing that occurred to me today, Hypo and Hyper. Hypo as in 'under' or 'deficient'....i.e. I am under producing hormones. Or Hypodermic needle, under (hypo) the skin (derma/dermis). And Hyper as in 'excessive' - Hyperglycemia, too much glucose in the blood
So there you have it, a bit of my extra knowledge duly passed on!
I noted today a 'fire in my belly'. It is a feeling I have only felt a couple of times since being on both the Hydrocortisone and Testosterone (only been on the Testosterone a month or so). We were out walking the dog, and my energy levels were just soaring, I felt a kind of energetic burning inside me that I realise I haven't felt in....well I don't know how long. I just felt I could have run down the track we were walking and just run and run. It felt really good and put a massive smile on my face I can tell you. I've no idea whether to expect this to continue or not, and in any case who knows what the future holds for any of us, but I really do hope to have more days like today.
So you know at least two more things about me, I am a Pituitary bore....and today was a really good day :-)