Detection of pituitary injuries is difficult – an individual suffering as a result of a traumatic brain injury suffers on many accounts.
Traumatic brain injuries can cause a number of complications, leaving a victim permanently disabled. One of the injuries that can seriously affect a car accident victim is an injury caused to the pituitary gland. (Learn more – Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries)
Function of the Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland is located in the center of the head, covered by bone along with the hypothalamus. It is a small organ that hangs down and is approximately the size of the uvula that hangs in the back of the throat. The pituitary gland along with the hypothalamus is responsible for all hormonal functions of the body.
Due to its small size, injuries caused to the pituitary gland often go undetected in MRIs. Since a pituitary injury affects hormones, the outcomes are not always immediately visible like other physical brain injuries that can be viewed on an MRI scan. This makes pituitary injuries more complex and difficult to diagnose and treat.
Diagnosing Pituitary Injuries
Injuries to the pituitary gland can mostly be detected by hormonal tests undertaken within regular intervals after an accident victim has suffered an injury to the brain. Usually, pituitary-related hormonal functions return to normal after 6 to 8 months. However, to diagnose pituitary injuries, a doctor will track the following hormone imbalances in accident victims.
- Growth hormones – The growth hormone is responsible for regulating the growth of the body along with long term well-being, bone development, and heart functions. The growth hormone is often the most commonly affected hormone in pituitary injuries. Growth hormone imbalances due to injuries cannot be detected with a simple blood test. A more in-depth test is required, which takes hours to complete and is very expensive. Endocrinologists are not always equipped or experienced to carry out tests for growth hormone imbalances due to injury.
- Thyroid hormone – The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland. If left untreated, it can lead to hypothyroidism.
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone – The adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulates and regulates the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland releases the hormone cortisol. Imbalances in the adrenocorticotropic hormone can lead to many complications and can also result in death.
- Gonadotropin – When injuries to the pituitary gland result in imbalances in the gonadotropic hormone, it can lead to fertility issues and deficiencies that can cause premature menopause in women. In men, the gonadotropic hormone imbalance can cause muscle loss, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction issues.
- Other hormones – Hormonal imbalances caused due to injuries to the pituitary gland can result in a number of issues such as control of the water retention function of the body. Some hormones regulate the function of the kidneys.
Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Individuals suffering from pituitary gland injuries are exposed to risks of acquiring a host of other chronic diseases. Due to the fact that detection of pituitary injuries is difficult, an individual suffering pituitary injuries as a result of a traumatic brain injury suffers on many accounts. Seek legal help from a Chicago traumatic brain injury lawyer. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166.