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Hypopituitarism and Stress

Question: I have permanent pituitary insufficiency and find that I don’t deal with stress well at all. Is this common for someone like me and will it get better?

Answer: There are plenty of things that can cause us stress these days. The ability to deal with stress depends on many factors unrelated to one’s pituitary status, one’s basic personality and life situation, for example. There will always be stressful events, but you can improve how you deal with stress: avoid or reduce situations that cause you stress, educate yourself about stress management, try meditation, get professional counseling, and so forth. In addition, recent studies have indicated that administration of growth hormone improves the perception of quality of life in patients with pituitary growth hormone deficiency. Another recent study found that women who were androgen deficient as the result of primary adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) had a better overall sense of well-being and improved sexuality when they were given dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Women with ACTH deficiency are also androgen deficient. Stress is sometimes increased by a more general sense of not feeling truly well. You might ask your endocrinologist about these new findings.

By Dr. David Orth MD (Summer, 2000)


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