OHSU

Other Hormone Deficiencies

Prolactin deficiency

Your pituitary gland makes the hormone prolactin during and after pregnancy. This hormone tells your body to prepare the breasts for nursing a baby and to produce milk after the baby is born. Prolactin deficiency (not enough prolactin) is not treated.

Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) deficiency

Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) is another hormone produced by your pituitary gland. It is also called vasopressin. This hormone signals your kidneys to retain (keep) water. Your pituitary gland produces ADH if you are dehydrated (not enough water in the body) or the salt level in your bloodstream is higher than normal. Water dilutes salt, so your body holds on to water to keep the salt levels closer to normal.

If your pituitary gland does not make enough ADH, you can have a condition called diabetes insipidus (DI). Signs of this condition are urinating (peeing) a large amount and being very thirsty. Diabetes insipidus is not related to type 1 or type 2 ("sugar") diabetes. Pituitary tumors and pituitary surgery can also cause diabetes insipidus.

The treatment for ADH deficiency is medication, usually a pill or nasal spray.

Oxytocin deficiency

Your pituitary gland makes the hormone oxytocin. It signals a woman's uterus to contract when she is having a baby, and helps milk come out of the breast during nursing. Oxytocin deficiency (not enough oxytocin) is not treated.