The pituitary is a small gland attached to the base of the brain (behind the nose) in an area called the pituitary fossa or sella turcica. The pituitary is often called the "master gland" because it controls the secretion of hormones. A normal pituitary gland weighs less than one gram, and is about the size and shape of a kidney bean.

The function of the pituitary can be compared to a household thermostat. The thermostat constantly measures the temperature in the house and sends signals to the heater to turn it on or off to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature. The pituitary gland constantly monitors body functions and sends signals to remote organs and glands to control their function and maintain the appropriate environment. The ideal "thermostat" setting depends on many factors such as level of activity, gender, body composition, etc.

The pituitary is responsible for controlling and coordinating the following:

  • Growth and development
  • The function of various body organs (i.e. kidneys, breasts and uterus)
  • The function of other glands (i.e. thyroid, gonads, and adrenal glands

The Pituitary Gland and Pituitary Tumors Overview

  • Pituitary Anatomy and Functions

  • Pituitary Adenomas

  • Treatment

  • Diagnosis

  • Symptoms


Education

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