What Is Pituitary tumours?
Tumour is a condition of abnormal growth of cells. Tumours that start in the pea-sized pituitary gland are called as pituitary tumours. The pituitary gland is called the ‘master gland’ as the hormones released by the gland play a key role in controlling the levels of other hormones in the body. Some of the important hormones released by the pituitary gland include growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, vasopressin, and oxytocin. Pituitary tumours or pituitary adenomas are usually benign as they don’t spread to other parts of the body and remain confined to a tiny space in the skull called sella turcica. The adenomas or tumours are classified based on:
- Size: Microadenomas and Macroadenomas
- Effect on production of hormone: Functional adenoma and non-functional adenoma
What Are The Symptoms Of Pituitary tumours?
The signs and symptoms of pituitary tumour vary based on excess production and cessation of production of hormones
- Tumours can compress the optic chiasm region, leading to the loss of vision.
- Cushing’s syndrome.
- Impotence and infertility.
- It can lead to prolactinoma, where testosterone level decreases in men while the loss of menstrual periods occurs in women.
- Acromegaly or gigantism due to excess production of growth hormone.
- Bitemporal hemianopsia.
- Reduction of sex hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).
- Hypothyroidism, which can cause fatigue, weight gain, and loss of appetite.
- Decreased blood pressure and electrolyte imbalance due to adrenal insufficiency.
- Mood changes.
What Are The Causes Of Pituitary tumours?
Although proper causes for pituitary tumour have not been found, scientists and doctors speculate the following as the causes for the development of pituitary adenoma:
- Certain changes in DNA that are said to activate the oncogenes and inhibit tumour suppressor genes that can lead to the development of the tumour.
- Gene mutations due to exposure to radiation or other carcinogens.
- There are also cases of hereditary pituitary tumour cases.
- Patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia types 1 (MEN1) are found to be susceptible to pituitary adenomas.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Pituitary tumours?
The following can help in controlling the symptoms of pituitary tumour:
- Keeping track of hormone level periodically in women if they are in the phase of menopause so to avoid misreading of hormonal changes that occur in the case of pituitary tumour.
- Understanding, the symptoms like blurry vision, fatigue, loss of appetite, etc. helps in better management of the disease.
- Taking note of weight periodically to observe changes.
- Adopting a tailored exercise program to overcome fatigue and maintain healthy body weight.
- Post-surgical side-effects must not be ignored to avoid extra medications.
- Eating smaller meals more often to reduce nausea.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Pituitary tumours?
These are the few factors to be avoided in case of pituitary tumour:
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle as the immunity is already low in pituitary tumour and it further decreases endurance and strength.
- Avoid taking irregular meals as it increases the stress level and leads to fatigue which is a symptom of the pituitary tumour.
What Are The Best Foods For Pituitary tumours?
Few foods recommended in the management of pituitary tumour are:
- Chaste Tree Berry: This regulates the hormone levels in the body and helps in the proper functioning of the pituitary gland.
- Astragalus extract: The extract obtained from Astragalus herb is helpful in supporting the pituitary gland function.
- Liquorice: This helps in balancing the pituitary gland function and is useful in decreasing the prolactin levels.
- Vitamin B: Especially Vitamin B12 have found to have a great effect in the effective management of pituitary tumour. Some of the vitamin B12 rich foods are eggs, shellfish, crab, fish, cottage cheese, liver, and others.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These help in recovery post-surgery and improve the functioning of the brain. Few omega 3 fatty acids rich foods are fish oil, chia seed, walnuts, flax seed oil, canola oil, and salmon.
- Turmeric: It is also found that few of the chemical constituents of turmeric have been effective in controlling the hormones of the pituitary gland.
- Curcumin: Ancient knowledge suggests the use of curcumin along with turmeric to inhibit tumour cell proliferation and balance the gland’s functions.
What Are The Worst Foods For Pituitary tumours?
Here are the foods that are to be avoided in the management of pituitary tumour:
- Fat containing foods: As there is an increased weight in the pituitary tumour, it is important to avoid the intake of saturated fats. Some fat containing foods are whole eggs, lamb, pork, beef, French fries and potato chips.
- Hot and Spicy foods: These can increase nausea and cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
What Are The Medicines For Pituitary tumours?
What Are The Tips To Manage Pituitary tumours?
Post-surgery or treatment, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes physical exercises. A well-planned workout plan is helpful in relieving fatigue and weakness.