How does the pituitary gland affect adrenal gland disorders?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Your pituitary gland secretes a hormone known as adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH. This hormone regulates your adrenal glands, helping them to produce the right amounts of cortisol. A tumor could grow on the pituitary gland, causing overproduction of ACTH by the pituitary gland. As a result, the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, causing adrenal gland disorders. Surgery or other injury to the pituitary gland might lead to too little ACTH, resulting in the opposite problem -- too little cortisol.

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