The pituitary gland is situated at the brain's base. It sends out chemical messengers telling other organs what to do. This includes the thyroid and adrenal glands. Pituitary apoplexy, a rare medical emergency, is typically the result of a tumor in the pituitary gland. The tumors that cause it have usually triggered either the death of part of the gland or caused it to bleed profusely. This condition can also occur right after childbirth. When it does, it is called Sheehan's syndrome. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, paralysis involving eye movements, double vision, and a sudden, severe headache.
Patients need prompt treatment for pituitary apoplexy. Many individuals will undergo surgical decompression for pituitary apoplexy. There are also several medications for pituitary apoplexy that are available. However, the best pituitary apoplexy treatment can vary between patients, which is why understanding all of the options is essential.
Cortisol Replacement Therapy
The adrenal glands, which are located just above the kidneys, produce cortisol. Cortisol is a critical hormone involved in many of the body's functions. It is necessary for life and also helps the body cope with stress. The pituitary gland controls the adrenal glands by sending out a chemical signal called ACTH. Suppose this condition damages the pituitary gland. In that case, it can no longer send signals to the adrenal glands to release cortisol. Insufficient cortisol can result in symptoms like fainting from low blood pressure, craving for salt, skin darkening, and feeling fatigued.
Cortisol replacement therapy means that certain drugs are used to replace the cortisol that the adrenal glands are not producing. Examples of medications used are hydrocortisone and prednisone. These drugs have similar actions to cortisol. Hydrocortisone is the same ingredient in some over-the-counter itch creams. However, when used in this type of therapy, it is generally taken orally. Some patients may receive it intravenously as a continuous infusion.
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