Increase duration of study time of Pituitary Medicine Curriculum in Medical Schools

It is estimated that one in five people have a pituitary or hormonal disorder. In the United States alone, there are approximately 60 million people living with a pituitary or hormonal disorder. The pituitary is a small, pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain that functions as the “Master Gland.” It sends signals to the thyroid and adrenal glands, ovaries and testes, directing them to produce thyroid hormone, cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and many more. These hormones have dramatic effects on metabolism, blood pressure, sexuality, reproduction, and other vital body functions.

Symptoms such as headaches, depression, mood swings, loss of memory, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, obesity, weight gain, lethargy, weakness in limbs, high blood pressure, diabetes, vision problems, infertility, and irregular menses are all too often mistaken for other disorders. 

Complications patients suffer from a pituitary disorders include heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and debilitating depression. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, cognitive disturbances, anger and rage are all mental health conditions common in people with a pituitary disorder. Left untreated they can have a devastating impact on a patient's life. 

Patients suffer from shattered families and marriages, loss of jobs, all due to delays in discovering a pituitary tumor and a lack of understanding about the connection between our physical and mental health.  

Because of a lack of awareness and education, people suffering with pituitary disorders and hormonal imbalances frequently spend years searching for a correct diagnosis, while dealing with often debilitating symptoms that can have a serious impact on their quality of life. And, in far too many cases, the patient may never get a diagnosis at all. Our alarm is not with an occasional missed diagnosis, it is with the consistency of missed diagnoses, worldwide. Obtaining a complete and correct diagnosis, as well as appropriate treatment is imperative not only to improve the quality of a pituitary patient’s life, but often, to save a life.

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