As an update to my son's health, we have undergone several MRI scans on his brain together with blood checks since my last post, and although the tumor is still present the specialists informed us that it is not affecting him in any damaging way. The tumor is in the area of the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland is a tiny organ, the size of a pea, found at the base of the brain. As the “master gland” of the body, it produces many hormones that travel throughout the body, directing certain processes or stimulating other glands to produce other hormones. The pituitary gland makes or stores many different hormones. The following hormones are made in the anterior (front part) of the pituitary gland:
PROLACTIN - This hormone stimulates breast milk production after childbirth. It is also produced in males but of course not used.
GROWTH HORMONE (GH) - This hormone stimulates growth in childhood and plays a role in maintaining healthy muscles and bone and well-being in adults.
ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN (ACTH) - This hormone stimulates the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. Cortisol helps maintain blood pressure and blood glucose (sugar) levels.
THYROID-STIMULATING HORMONE (TSH) - This hormone stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, which regulate the body's metabolism, energy balance, growth, and nervous system activity.
LUTEINIZING HORMONE (LH) - This hormone stimulates testosterone production in men and egg release (ovulation) in women
FOLLICLE-STIMULATING HORMONE (FSH) - This hormone promotes sperm production in men and stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen and develop eggs in women.
The following hormones are stored in the posterior (back part) of the pituitary gland:
ANTIDIURETIC HORMONE (ADH) - This hormone regulates water balance in the body and sodium levels in the blood.
OXYTOCIN - This hormone causes milk to flow from the breasts in breastfeeding women, and may also help labor to progress.