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Traumatic Brain Injury and Pituitary Hormones

hormone deficiency diagnosis on an iPad with a stethoscope

Pituitary Deficiency and Brain Injury

By Flora Hammond, M.D. and Rhona Shapiro, R.N., M.S.N.

Originally published 06/09/2009

Traumatic brain injury and the pituitary

Pituitary hormone deficiency may result from head trauma or subarachnoid hemorrhage. Two recent studies show that one or more pituitary hormones may be affected by traumatic brain injury or subarachnoid hemorrhage.1,2

Symptoms of hormone deficiency can mimic other effects of a traumatic brain injury, which can prevent suspicion of this disorder. A deficiency of one or more of the hormones regulated by the pituitary gland may have physical and/or psychological effects such as:

  • reduced muscle mass
  • weakness
  • decreased exercise capacity
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • depression
  • impaired memory
  • reduced sex drive.

Most patients do not even realize that they have the hormone deficiency until specific laboratory tests for this disorder are performed. However, individuals with a history of a moderate to severe brain injury are more likely to have a pituitary deficiency than those with a mild brain injury.

The likelihood of pituitary damage exists even if the injury occurred years ago and a good rehabilitative outcome has been achieved. The pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and surrounding structures, including their blood supply, may have been injured.

Damage to the pituitary gland causes a condition called hypopituitarism: a loss or reduction in the normal activity of the pituitary gland. Hypopituitarism means that any pituitary hormone can be deficient.

Picture of the brain from the side to show the location of the pituitary gland

The pituitary is a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain. Pituitary hormones are important because they regulate other hormones from the thyroid, gonads (ovaries and testes), and adrenals (cortisone). Prolactin, oxytocin, and ADH (antidiuretic hormone) may also be effected by brain injury, but the incidence is less common. These hormones are chemical messengers that target vital organs that control vital functions.

Listed below are the hormones produced by the pituitary along with the symptoms commonly seen with a deficiency of each. Diagnostic testing for pituitary hormone deficiency involves blood and urine testing. Hormonal replacement requires monitoring by a physician.

Thyroid stimulating hormone deficiency may cause…

  • reduced memory
  • slowed metabolism
  • reduced energy
  • altered mood
  • failure to thrive
  • slowed growth
  • lethargy
  • muscle aches
  • cold intolerance
  • decreased appetite
  • dry hair or skin
  • numbness or tingling in extremities

Adrenocortical stimulating hormone deficiency may cause…

  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • altered mood
  • electrolyte abnormalities
  • weight loss
  • low or fluctuating blood pressure
  • increased body fat
  • decreased bone mass
  • reduced exercise capacity

Sex hormone deficiency may cause…

  • decreased energy
  • decreased muscle mass

in males, it may cause…

  • decreased sex drive
  • shrunken testes
  • loss of beard growth
  • decreased sperm production

in females, it may cause…

  • infertility
  • amenorrhea (lack of menstruation)
  • loss of female characteristics

Growth hormone deficiency may cause:

  • decreased lean body and muscle mass, particularly in the shoulders
  • increased fat mass, especially around the waist and trunk
  • high “bad” cholesterol levels (higher ldl and lower hdl) which may increase risk of stroke and heart disease
  • decreased bone density, which may cause osteoporosis
  • fatigue, regardless of the amount of sleep
  • decreased interest in socialization
  • a sense of isolation and depression


Kelly DF, Gaw Gonzalo IT, Cohan P, Berman N, Swerdloff R, Wang C. Hypopituitarism following traumatic brain injury and aneurismal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a preliminary report. J Neurosurg.2000; 93: 743-752.

Lieberman SA, Oberoi AL, Gilkison CR, Masel BE, Urban RJ. Prevalence of neuroendocrine dysfunction in patients recovering from traumatic brain injury. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998:83:382-395.

About the Authors

Flora Hammond, M.D.

Dr. Hammond is the Chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at of Medicine and Chief of Medical Affairs at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. Much of her research on traumatic brain injury has focused on outcome prediction, post-traumatic irritability, depression, relationships, and motor and cognitive recovery over time.

She graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine in 1990 in New Orleans, LA. Her Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency was done at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Hammond earned a Brain Injury Fellowship at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in Detroit, Michigan. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has served as an invited participant to both the Aspen Conference and Galveston Brain Injury Conference (brain injury think tanks). Her excellence in research, teaching, and administration were acknowledged by her receipt of the 2001 Young Academician Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP), and the 2001 AAP Best Faculty Paper Presentation Award.

Rhona Shapiro, RN, MSN

Rhona Shapiro is an experienced nursing educator and clinician. She specializes in adult growth hormone deficiency and in traumatic brain injury and pituitary deficiency.

An experienced educator, she has also served as nursing faculty in a community college setting. A member of the Endocrine Nurses’ Society, Ms Shapiro is an experienced clinician in both acute care and home care settings.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please contact your physician for more information and questions about your condition.

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44 thoughts on “Traumatic Brain Injury and Pituitary Hormones

  1. Our Son suffered a TBI 7 yrs ago; has ongoing problems related with accident and Drs/Surgeons have done all kinds of tests/surgeries, MRI, bone scans, etc. and cannot seem to find problem. Most problem being with pain in feet and legs, low metabolism, muscle/joint pain. If you can help us with a contact at one of the research centres in Canada, please respond, as we have “run out of steam” in finding Drs who are knowledgeble in his unique situation. He has had 4 craniotomies, within 1.5 mths of accident, eye surgery for vision impairment caused from accident, bilateral gastronemic lengthening, many types of physio therapy, etc. Please reply. I will provide lots of details of accident and up to date condition.

    Thanks so much for your time, Pat Bourgoin

  2. Dear Pat,
    I recommend having a physiatrist (a physician with a specialty in physical medicine and rehabilitation) examine your son. I have a very good contact in the Toronto area who I can put you in touch with who would most likely be knowledgeable about specialists closer to your home. I must admit I had to look up New Brunswick to figure out where you are. If you could email me some more details and give me permission to forward your inquiry to her, I would be glad to do so. Marilyn Lash

  3. Great site…keep up the good work.

  4. Very nice information. Thanks for this.

  5. My daughter hit her head sled riding in Jan 2008 at age 13 and was diagnosed with a concussion. Classic symptoms headache, blurred vision, dizziness, short-term memory problems, fatigue – all caused by being exposed to noisy environments, light changes, concentrating, reading, even physical activity. She can’t track with her eyes well (i.e. when the camera pans a landscape or room it gives her sharp pains in her head – she played a game with about 20 bouncing rubber balls and after 20 minutes she slumped against the wall and her eyes were darting and she was a little dazed and then she slept 1.5 hours in the late afternoon. She has had 9 episodes of non-epileptic seizures. They usually begin with a headache then she begins whispering, then staring and then she can only answer by shaking her head yes or no. Her arms and legs begin to shake uncontrollably and her eyes are closed and rolled back and the most recent on 12/22/09 during an in-hospital EEG after about 5 minutes she was not able to answer us at all. This lasted about 20 minutes and then it took another 15 for her to be able to speak. They say she has underlying emotional issues. I say she does not. I say it was brought on by exhaustion and the noisy environments we exposed her to during the afternoon in order to stress her brain and then the noise from the MRI and then she was kept up until 1:30 a.m. waiting to be hooked up to the EEG leads. I didn’t expect to be able to bring this on because she has had only 8 others in 23 months. I think the lack of sleep was the key to pushing her over the edge. She usually gets about 10 hours of sleep. She had the seizure at 2:00 a.m. While she was waiting to be hooked up to the EEG, she watched animal planet at 10 and at 11 to 12 she played cards with her sister and they were laughing and having a good time. Where is the anxiety? She can not attend school because of the volume of work and the noise. She has a limited life. Can you help her? Please give me an idea of what you might do. She has had it with doctors and I just want her to have her life back and I need support and someone who will listen and actively think about what can help her. I think most doctors see her for 15 minutes and never think about her again. Prior to the head injury she had no academic, behavior, emotional or health problems. She was a good student two A’s, two B’s, and maybe one C. One PCS survior I met says correcting hormone levels and vitamin deficiencies can correct or improve some symptoms —- Linda Martino

  6. Dear Linda,
    Your concerns about your daughter are certainly justified given the changes that you have observed. The changes that you list are classic symptoms of brain injury and post concussion syndrome. The potential seriousness and consequences of concussion are too often dismissed because there is usually no loss of consciousness and CT scans and MRI usually do not show any evidence of damage. However, we know that a small percentage of people with concussion will have significant changes and long-term effects that can alter their abilities and functioning. A concussion is a brain injury.

    She is also the age where the frontal lobes of the brain typically undergo increased development with her maturation. That is why many teenagers who had earlier brain traumas may show new changes in behavior and difficulty learning as the underlying effects from an earlier injury become evident as the brain continues to develop and school work becomes more challenging.

    I strongly recommend having your daughter examined by a physician who specializes in brain injury – a physiatrist (doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation) or a neurologist with this specialty would have the expertise to consider her history and current symptoms. It would also be wise to have an assessment by a neuropsychologist – this is a licensed psychologist with additional training on brain functioning and brain injury. Again, it is important to select someone with experience with adolescents with brain injury and someone who is accustomed to consulting with school systems.

    If you have not already done so, I would have her evaluated for special education services to provide her with additional supports and accommodations in the classroom. Traumatic brain injury is a category under state and federal special education laws. However, many schools have little experience with students with brain injury so it is important for you to be an effective advocate during this process.

    She may also qualify for classroom accommodations under a 504 Plan which can be put into place more quickly while you are having her evaluated for special education.

    Finally, I would contact the Brain Injury Association in your state to ask for recommendations for specialists in adolescents and brain injury in your area.

    I would also be glad to identify some resources for you if you tell me what state you are in so I can match you up. Feel free to call me at the office at 919-556-0300 and we can talk in more detail.
    Marilyn Lash

  7. Damn, awesome website. I actually came across this on Ask Jeeves, and I am happy I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just absorbing as much info as I can at the moment.

    Thank You

    Laser Eye Surgery Ireland

  8. I suffered a grade 3 head injury in 1986. My pituitary being injured. After being comatosed for more than a month, I awoke and was sent home soon after, with only physical therapy given. The Dr claimed I was “healed” As time has gone on, I have had a child, without having a menstrual cycle, which they said would never happen. I have had a thyroidectome ( thyroid cancer ) and am hypothyroid. My weight gain is out of control. I am depressed, forgetful and experience great pain, during my cycle.
    My question is, even though my pituitary levels, etc. come back as productive, does that mean they are necessary normal. Could it be that my hypothalamus could still be messed up? How can I find out? what are my treatment options?
    thank you
    Shawna Pennington

    1. There have been many advances in understanding and treating traumatic brain injury since your injury many years ago. Just recently has the research given evidence that brain trauma may affect hormone production by the pituitary gland. I would encourage you to be seen by a physiatrist which is a physician who has specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation. It is important to provide both your brain injury history and your endocrine history. I suggest contacting the Brain Injury Association in your state to request a list of outpatient programs for brain injury. An accredited out patient brain injury program will have a physiatrist on staff with this expertise. It would be helpful for a physiatrist to consult with your endrocrinologist and review the records to help sort out what effects may be related to your pituitary levels and what may be cognitive changes due to your brain injury. THis is a complicated question that really requires expertise in both fields.

  9. I truly enjoyed your article. It was extremely educational and useful. I will back to check on upcoming articles

  10. My son suffered a skull fracture from vacuum extractor at birth. Since then He has seen many doctors to find out why he is not growing. He is almost 4 now and the doctors have still not found an answer to this problem..they have done a stim test for growth hormone but the results showed a mix because the clonidine administered showed one peak level and the arginine adminstered did not stimulate the growth hormone. I am so tired of all these tests and no diagnosis. Any advise?

  11. Dear Angela,
    It sounds like you have sought the expertise of an endocrinologist which is what I would recommend. My only other suggestion is to have your son seen by a developmental pediatrician who may be able to work with the endocrinologist to treat your son.
    M. Lash

  12. Everyone must take their tbi patient to an endocrinologist and a physiatrist , and make them both aware of this information and ask them to do the appropriate testing to see if it is something that may help the tbi patient get a helping hand in their fight to come back and survive and thrive. Quality of life is so important and I believe this data is something that will give better quality of life for these patients.

  13. hi i am 25 years old, and have been married now for the past 5 years, me and my husband hav been trying for a baby now for 6 years, 5 years ago, i was wrongly diagnosed with polycictic ovary syndrome, i am still undergoing investigations at the womans hospital, as i have not yet concevied, wen i was just 4years old, i ad in a servier rta (road traffic accident). and of the sertain of this i was left with multiple head injuries quite servier, i was left comertised, i have been doing a lot of research in to the pituiatry gland and i am understanding thet head injuaries can bamage this gland, i still have to have me tubes tested, but after reading about head injuries can affect this gland i am 100% sure that there is nothing wrong with my tubes, and that it isthis gland that is causing the problem, of me notgetting pregnant, i was just wondering if there is any one else that has been in the same sittuation, an has had meddication to resolve the problem, and in the result of the meddication have they concieved, am desperate to know of any similar stories, of people, and they have concieved after medication, as i a desperate for a child, i would be honoured just to be blessed with one child, both me and my husband would be so proud to be parents one day

  14. I was in a car accident one month ago, since the accident I have been passing out frequently and been very tired, blurred vision headaches nausea numbness and tingling in almost all parts of my body, short term memory loss, not being able to handle being cold at all. very weak, and i have lost approx 20 pounds. When the hospital did a ct scan to check if there was any bleeding in my brain they found that my pituitary gland was small, and now i have been referred to a rapid assesment clinic the hostipal, and they have requested that i bring someone for support and as a possible witness, but will not tell me anything else which now has me worried i have been looking up the pituitary gland and causes on the internet now since and was wondering what the chances are that this has something to do with the accident, or something that i have had for a while an the accident has made it worse. I have always suffered from on and off depression and excessive worring but that has also been worse since the accident and was just hoping to get some answers.

  15. Dear Angela,
    I can understand how worried and scared you may be feeling. I can not answer your question directly about any possible connection between the accident and your pituitary, but I can emphasize that it is very important that you report the history of your accident and your symptoms since then to any and all health care professionals who are examining and treating you. It may be useful to write this down in a one page summary to give to a clinician so you are certain that all the information is communicated.

  16. My dauter sustained a serious head injury when she crashed her motor scooter in dec 2004. She fractured her occipital skull and shattered her mandable bone on both sides. Since then she has had irregular periods, was diagnosed with PCOS, put on 70 lbs in the last 2 years, grown a buffalo hump and is now being looked at for cushing’s disease. I believe this has all been caused by the accident. Is there a specialist in Atlanta that you can recommend?

    1. I suggest contacting the Shepherd Center in Atlanta as they are a very well known and respected brain injury rehabilitation program with various specialists. Here is the weblink for their contact page.

  17. In August of 2008 I had a head trauma while on vacation. Because at the time I was taking medication for Bipolar and have a history of not tolerating new medications my husband and I didn’t think my symptoms had anything to do with brain trauma.(At the time I had begun to take Abilify) I got out of my husbands truck, struck my head on the door and when getting up got struck again by the closing door. By that night I knew there were serious complications but decided to wait until the weekend was over. My symptoms included dizziness, blurred vision, retrograde amnesia, confusion, and persona change. In two months after striking personality changes my doctor suggested brain imagery tests be done and tests for seizures. We assumed after the injury my symptoms were because of medication complications, it wasn’t. The tests showed no sign of any injury or damage. Though there were serious mental damage done. I didn’t know how to talk to people socially, had difficulty remembering who/what I was, and I was confused about my own life and relationships. Thank goodness after the injury I was on supplementation with natural progesterone cream for my menstruation issues. I used Natural Progesterone Cream three weeks in a row while leaving one week for my period to come for three cycles. My recovery has been very hard, I’ve also had to go to counseling for my long term memory loss. I fully believe it was the progesterone cream that saved me. After all I’ve been through and would not wish anyone to go through it, I will preach to everyone…Natural Progesterone Cream is the reason I’ve gotten my life together. I thank you for this article. Hormones play a very big part in brain injury, they will play a part in how your persona develops after it.

  18. This is for Linda Martino regarding her daughter. I sustained a severe TBI in 1997 when I was 27yrs old. Unfortunately, it changes your life forever due to the lack of understanding in society. Just like your daughter, I am totally over doctors. It might not be the thing to help your daughter, but since she is still young, it may help. I got into running. It is an individual challenge for me and exercising every morning is critical for my brain. It is probably more critical for those around me as it completely changes my personality. I pray it helps her.

  19. I have a BI since I was five am Sixty six now. I read and I had no idea. Thank you for being on the web so us old folk can still read and learn and share.

  20. I was recommended this blog through my cousin. I am not sure whether or not this post is written by means of him as nobody else realize such detailed approximately my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  21. I had encephalitis in march last year it damagaged pituary gland and right frontal lobe of brain. I recently had to have radio iodine treatment as my thyroid was affected, It has left me with mood swings snd memory problems and feelings of insecurity,I have seen neurologist and had epley manouvre done.Will I ever recover from this I am 68years of age and feel I am going downhill fast, can you give me any advice.thank you so much for your time marlene mooney

  22. I suffered a TBI in 1976 as a result of a pedestrian car accident. I was 12 yrs old and premenstrual. I have no recollection of the first 5 days of my hospital stay, my family told me I had hallucinations the first two days. It took the team of physicians about a week to figure out what was causing the seizures I had from the fractured skull/concussion. They diagnosed the issue as a sodium imbalance from the TBI. I was placed on Dilantin to control the seizures I had right after the accident. Once released from the hospital I remained under the care a neurosurgeon, having an EEG every 6 months for the next 4 years. It was then that I was weened off meds and given a clean bill of health. During this time I had “normal” periods and began having issues with them about a year later. Over the years I continued to have issues and when I was ready to start a family I was eventually diagnosed with PCOS and hypothyroidism. I had IVF became pregnant and developed complications. At 30 weeks, I developed HELLP syndrome, a variant of preeclampsia and had an emergency C-section, which led to a partial hysterectomy. I began medication for the hypothyroidism once I stopped nursing.
    In 2006 I was diagnosed with ADD. I have always felt that my TBI had something to do with my other diagnosis and doctors have always scoffed at the idea. After reading this article I can’t help but wonder if I wasn’t so far off. My question is “Is there anything I should watch for as I continue to age?” If there is any additional information you need please let me know, I’d be happy to provide you with anything that you need. Keep up the great work you are doing.
    Sincerely, Faith

  23. In April 1995, at the age of 20 I suffered some kind of brain injury. I was under the influence of LSD was having an experience I can only describe as “very intense.” During the experience something felt as though the moment couldn’t hold and I immediately knew something was wrong. Ever since then my cognitive functioning along with some other simple physical function has diminished to some degree. I stopped using drugs altogether about a year and a half later in 1996, mostly because I simply couldn’t tolerate them anymore. Trying to function as I once did has been very difficult. I have not been able to find proper help and have mostly gone the route of psychiatry and have taken all kinds of psych meds to no avail. Would love it if somebody would take the interest in looking at my brain and try to help me out. I’m not a flake or a burnout, I’m really trying to make something of myself.



  24. I have two friends with TBI and they have some similar symptoms and some individual symptoms. What I have found is that there is a reason the body isn’t producing the hormones.
    Considering it may be the gland that was harmed in the accident, it is time to rebuild that gland, it has (typically) more than one purpose. Dr. Wallach has a talk show. Anyone can call in, once a caller describes their personal symptoms, Dr. Wallach will address the personal equation and what is required to help the body start to heal itself. It is important to not treat the symptoms, but consider the source and fix what is truly broken.
    888-379-2552 at 2:00pm – 3:00pm CST.

  25. morning, my 14 year old daughter started menstration at 13 for only about 4 months then it stopped. At 14 (this year) she went on a healthy eating and fitness thing dropping to approx 42 kgs. She is much better now ranging from 49 – 52 kgs she eats well but still runs everyday. Her hair came out in clumps for a period of 4 weeks from the stress of the lack of nutrients, even though it has stopped falling out for about 2 months now, it has slow growth, her nails and eyelashes seem slow growing also. Our doctor is concerned with possible hormone damage, after reading this blog I’m thinking this is what she’s talking about. My daughters period stopped before the weight loss which would mean its been nearly 2 years. My question is what happens if left untreated or undiagnoised? Is this curable, does it just start working again, how much damage can it do and will her period ever come back? She shows no other sign you have listed as far as mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, lack of concentration, she’s very fit, eats well and is thriving at school, she just has very slow to no hair, nail growth and no period. Please can you give any advice. I know we should go have a blood test and I have the referral but she is frightened of them after her last blood test was quite traumatic. Thankyou for your time this morning, thankyou so much.

  26. Somehow, when I begin to have problems again, I end up back on the internet trying to find answers or to educate myself. As I wrote before, my Severe TBI was in August of 1997. However, the ramifications of sustaining a Severe TBI never seem to end. No one really cares if it is not them dealing with it…including family or at least they don’t have any answers either which leaves those of us that have suffered a TBI to continue on our quest for information to help ourselves.

    Anyhow, now that I am 44 yrs old I am dealing with a whole new situation regarding hormones. I knew something was wrong when I kept on exercising and eating properly and gained weight at a rapid pace. All I could think of was oh my goodness, here I go again. I had a rapid weight gain shortly after I got out of rehab.

    I am 5’5″ and I weighed 110 lbs. when I left rehab. Then I went up to 170 lbs. in just a few months. Finally, I managed to run and work out hard until I maintained about 140 lbs. Now it is happening all over again. The only problem is that now I am on disability and I cannot afford all new clothes.

    This is quite a dilemma. I am still doing the same things I did to lose weight the first time, but it is NOT working this time. Also, my whole body is extremely sensitive to touch. It’s almost like I have gone full circle. I know my body, so I went to my primary and she ordered another MRI. Then, logically, I went to my OB/GYN because I thought maybe I was menopausal. My primary found nothing except that my thyroid was low so she put me on a low dose of Synthroid. My OB/GYN called me and asked me if my Dr. had gone over my labs and I told him that all she found was that I had hypothyroidism. He said it is more than that. He took time to explain how low all my hormones were. Primarily, he noted that my testosterone (yes both men and women have this hormone) was severely low. So, he got me in his office ASAP and began SOTO Pelle on me. He had me go online to learn about it too. It may not even work, but it is worth a try and my faith is being tested as I cannot afford new clothes again. Also, I am going to see an endocrinologist in two weeks too. I am praying that maybe if they look specifically at my pituitary then they might be able to help me.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to let other people know some of the things I am trying. Also, I would desperately love to know of anyone else that has suffered a severe TBI that has had this problem with a rapid weight gain. Please let me know and I would love any advice I can as to what to tell this endocrinologist that I will be seeing soon. Actually, I am praying that this SOTO Pelle works and I can have a quality of life again as I am all alone dealing with this.

    The stigma that goes along with a severe TBI is traumatizing. My family was there for me when I was in a coma, but now that I am alive and have made many mistakes, they really don’t want to have anything to do with me. My mother tries to help me financially and they all tell her to stop because there is nothing wrong with me. Sometimes I wonder how they would treat one of their children if the shoe was on their foot. It is quite disheartening and sad to me even though I always walk around with a great big smile….no one sees the damage in my brain or the pain in my heart….Thanks to anyone that would like to share some information with me….God is good and I know He has a purpose for all this….faith is my only hope! Kerry L. Mischka

    1. Dear Kerry,
      Thank you for sharing your experience – and I wish you the best.
      Marilyn Lash

  27. I suffered a TBI to my entire frontal lobe. Although I had no severe hemorrhaging I had one large “light bruise” across the majority of my frontal lobe. My doctors say I also did something to my pituitary gland. It’s not the usual decrease but an increase in growth. I’m almost 33 and I’ve gone from a liberal 5’10.5″ to a solid 6’1″. I’ve gained about 20 lbs positive weight as I workout/yoga regularly. I used to wear a size 10 now I’m pushing through an 11. I know this sounds crazy. I’m worried about it as well. I don’t know what to feel.

  28. In 1983 I hit head on windshield. Immediately the constant ringing in the ears started. I could not be up as I had small seizures. I immediately went into menopause. I was put on bed rest for months. But I always wondered if I injured my posterior pituitary gland. I had cancer of thyroid and removal of it and para thyroid glands before accident. Now I am having trouble with keeping my calcium levels normal. Some days I just crash and can’t move a muscle for hours. Been in hospital and given calcium and get better for a few days then down again. The adrenal tests were normal last week. But why do I have such crashing episodes which leave me unable to function for hours! My family internist suggests I see an endocrinologist who specializes in calcium maintenance. Contacting IU med center also for this endocrinologist. Waiting to hear if they can find a doctor who can treat me. My endocrinologist has released me to family internist. I want to have my pituitary gland examined also. I am 77 years old now but still mentally alert. Can you reply regarding my severe muscle weakness crashes? March 25. 2014 thank you. Phyllis Bayt

    1. Dear Phyllis,
      I understand how frustrating this process has been but I encourage you to continue the search for treatment. I can not comment on your medical condition but I can suggest that you consider seeing a physiatrist who is a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. This specialty works with brain injury and will be familiar with your symptoms. It is very important that you share your history of the car crash and neurological symptoms that have followed as well as the endocrine changes.
      Best wishes,
      Marilyn Lash

  29. On 2/22/10 I rolled my car 6 times after hitting a 250 square foot patch of black ice. Police estimate my speed at 15 mph. I suffered a TBI and spent 4 months in a brain trauma unit after a doctor preformed brain sugery on me to relieve bleeding on the left side of my brain. It is now 4 years later and I feel that I have made great progress. The problem that I am having is that I have no sex drive at all. Im married 10 years and I feel this is causing marriage problems. My doctor put me on Testim Cream and then Androgel but this has not helped. A friend, also with a TBI, wrote me and told me about this pituitary gland. Should I get it checked and would it help my sexual problems?

  30. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, nicely written and includes approximately all important infos.
    I’d like to look at more posts like this .

  31. my 16 y.o.daughter suffered a sports head injury last march. she used to have regular menstrual cycles. she has not had one since the injury. do you think it could have something to do with the head injury?

    1. Dear Ann,
      I can not give you medical advice but I can encourage you to discuss this with your daughter’s physician.

  32. Our son was involved in a car accident 4 months ago. His head went through the windshield. He is cold all the time. He is rapped up in an electric blanket because he is so cold. He seems to be so stressed over the smallest thing. Like going to a dr appointment. He becomes stressed. They are working with meds to get the stress and depression under control. Was wondering about the cold all the time. Could this be thyroid. Also he was in the hospital for 2 weeks and they found a coradid artery tear. That healed cuz he had mri on that. not sure of pituitary glad.

    1. Dear Paula,
      I am so sorry to hear of your son’s injuries and encourage you to talk with his doctor about his feeling cold so much of the time. I suggest asking if this is directly related to the areas of the brain that were injured. You are in the very early stages of care and rehabilitation with your son. Most state brain injury associations have support groups for families and survivors, as well as annual conferences, and I encourage you to search for the organization in your state as they can be very helpful for information and local resources. Even more, you will have the opportunity to meet other families and will find that you have much in common.

  33. Dear Paula Lizor,
    I was reading about your son.. First off I am so sorry to hear what he has been through, but thank GOD he is alive and here with you.. I am almost 100% sure to tell you he has suffered damage to his hypathalamus gland in his brain.. Probably from the impact to his head from the accident.. It’s a gland deep in your brain that controls so much, appetite, temperature control, and so much more..The proper diagnosis term is “poikilothermia” .. my son suffers from this condition. three years ago he suffered a traumatic football injury, he recieved a broken neck and paralyzing spinal cord injury.. Three years out, he endured 12 hours of surgery to save his life. He has rods screw, and plates in his neck forever.. but from the impact of the hit, his hypothalamus gland was injured causing many problems.. The poikilothermia is his ability to regulate his body’s temperature to his surroundings..they no longer can do it, because the gland that controls this is injured and his temperature fluctuates all over the place..Tyler has to be very careful in extremely hot weather as he can “overheat” and this can be very dangerous.. also when he’s sick and gets a fever it is always 105.. and can get higher.. must be watched so closely.

    But I want to give you hope, your son is only 4 mos post injury.. His brain needs time to heal and it takes so long.. patience…it will get better.. the first year Tyler would have to dress in layers anytime he would go out and it was cold.. or else his body would shake so badly he couldn’t control itself from the cold. and it would take him 4 hrs after getting in the house to heat up..

    We have learned to adapt our lives and adjust to his needs.. we have to keep our heat on at least 74 degrees or higher in the house so he can be comfortable.. we dress like it’s summer in winter.. and vice versa in the summer we keep central air freezing cold as he needs it to be.. we have to try and avoid long outings in cold weather.. I remember the first year after his football accident that summer we hardly went out.. as him being in the direct sun was dangerous.. but that has improved a lot and now he can be out in the summer sun just not for long periods of time.. Hypothalmus gland damage I am pretty almost sure is the reason for his temperature control issues. If you google it, you can read up on it.. thank god in this day and age they have heated clothing, socks, extremely great outerwear.. Tyler’s clothes can be very costly for winter but they are a neccessity, he cannot wear cheap jackets etc. they won’t keep him protected.. if you ever need help, advice I can give you some great drs… good luck and I tell you it will get better in time, but with the brain it’s tough because there is no magic pill, I have been to the moon and back and all neurologists say is it can take years.. I am three years out and yes it has gotten better but he still sufferes from the poikilothermia,, but my son’s injury was comletely different than your child’s .. so there are so many other issues with his sci.. hope this helps

  34. Thanks for making my day you don’t have any idea how big of a smile you put on my face!

  35. What college-university has a good creative writing program or focus on English?

  36. My son was injured when he was almost 5 years old. He was at a children’s interactive exhibit, when a part of the exhibit struck him in the left side of the forehead. His rolled back and he was crying and he could not see. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where he received 2 layers of stitches and we were told he had a concussion. A few days later his eyes would roll back and eyelashes would flutter. I took him to the doctor and neurology, but they could not figure out the problem. His ct/MRI came out fine. Through the years, he has experienced the symptoms you state above. He had problems in school, left school at 8th grade, he has severe anxiety, anger issues, adhd, add, OCD. He is 20 yrs.old now. He started seeing a psychiatrist the following year after the accident. At times his vision goes black, it does matter if he is sitting, standing, laying down, etc. I am trying to figure out, if he could possibly have pituitary damage.

    1. Dear Amy,
      My suggestion is that your son be evaluated by a neuropsychologist experienced in traumatic brain injury. It is important to provide the history of his childhood injury as brain development can be affected over time. If you do not know of such a specialist, the brain injury association or alliance in your state may be able to give you a list of such specialists.

  37. Once upon a time there was a gun accident… that hurt my head… lady time never came again… what made me think pituitary was tracking what makes adrenaline work… it does not any more… at all… even in a huge emergency. Now it just feels good to know what could have caused all.

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