The pituitary gland is divided into two parts or "lobes", anterior and posterior. Each of these makes several hormones. These are the most important pituitary hormones, though there are others:
The anterior pituitary makes thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is the major regulator of thyroid function. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) regulate the function of the ovaries in women and the testes in men, allowing for normal production of sex hormone such as testosterone and estrogen, and for the production of eggs and sperm. Growth hormone (GH) promotes the growth of all body tissues and is especially essential in allowing one to attain a normal adult height. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) regulates the adrenal glands. Prolactin is a hormone that is responsible for breast milk production.
In the posterior pituitary, there are two major hormones: vasopressin and oxytocin. Vasopressin is essential for the regulation of the body's water balance. Oxytocin is critical during childbirth when it promotes contraction of the uterus and appears to promote behavior and emotions allowing a mother to bond to her child.
Pituitary problems may result in over-production or under-production of these hormones with resulting symptoms specific to the hormone or hormones involved.