Brain injuries are diagnosed through imaging tests conducted by a radiologist, and reviewed by a physician. In most cases, an E.R Doctor is the first to identify a brain injury after trauma to the head. Often trauma to the head occurs during a motor-vehicle accident (MVA), a sports related injury, or due to a person falling or being hit in the head by something that has fallen. While CT and MRI scans can identify bleeding in the brain, as well as bruised tissue and swelling of the brain, often a pituitary gland injury is overlooked. Unfortunately, after a traumatic blow to the head, the part of the brain that bears the most pressure from the event is connected to the pituitary gland. This means that the gland often sustains trauma and micro-tears which are too small to be detected with the typical medical imaging conducted after a brain injury. These micro-tears and pituitary trauma does pose a risk and causes many victims to suffer from an array of symptoms that are disabling and can prohibit someone from carrying out their their day to day lives. Depending on how one’s brain injury has been classified, whether be mild, moderate or severe, the pituitary gland can be a recipient of the same type of damage as well.
What Is The Pituitary Gland?
The pituitary gland is a small structure at the base of the brain that controls your body’s secondary bodily functions. This gland releases a wide variety of hormones which are responsible and control the activity of other endocrine glands (hormone glands) located throughout the body. Sometimes referred to as the “master gland” in the body, the pituitary gland mediates many important functions of the body’s organs and systems. Some of these functions include, but are not limited to:
- Pain Relief
- Blood Pressure
- Water Regulation / Balance
- Temperature Regulation
- Sex Organ Function
- Bodily Growth
- Thyroid Gland Function
- Metabolism & Energy Stores
- Breast Milk Production
How a Pituitary Gland is Injured
During trauma, the part of the brain that bears the majority of the pressure from a head trauma is identified as the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. This is a part of the brain that is connected to the pituitary gland. When this part of the brain sustains trauma, so does the pituitary gland, resulting in micro-tears which are often identified at the stem of the gland. Research shows that this injury is so easily sustained, that it shows up in up to 50% of people who have sustained a brain injury, concussion or whiplash.
Symptoms of a Pituitary Injury
Many of the symptoms associated with a pituitary injury are similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and post-concussive syndrome (PCS). For this reason, pituitary gland injuries are often overlooked by general practitioners.
Symptoms of a pituitary gland injury include, but are not limited to:
- Memory difficulties
- Concentration problems
- Change in mood
- Increase in irritation
- Social isolation
- Lack of motivation
- Decrease and/or poor exercise performance
- Muscle mass loss
- Increase in fat tissue
- Decrease in or complete loss of libido
Diagnosing and Managing a Pituitary Injury
If you have been in an accident and have been diagnosed with a brain injury, concussion and/or whiplash, ask your doctor or specialist for a pituitary blood test. This test helps indicate if you have abnormal levels of hormones occurring in the pituitary gland. If a deficiency is found, you will be referred to further testing from an endocrinologist.
With a proper diagnosis, you will be able to receive the best treatment required for your recovery form your injury.
Contacting a Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident, and any of the following apply to you, contact a personal-injury lawyer ASAP:
*You have been diagnosed with a brain injury and believe that you may be suffering from a pituitary injury as well
*Have filed an insurance claim and have received a denied claim for a brain injury or pituitary injury related disability
*Require long-term disability leave or short-term disability leave from work due to a brain injury or pituitary injury, and are facing reprisal from your employer
TSF Lawyer is a law firm that specializes in injury law and insurance claim denial. Our staff is well equipped to handle cases specific to pituitary injury and diagnosis. We understand the lengthy recovery a brain injury requires and the array of difficulties one may face during a time of healing. It is important to minimize as much stress as possible; by speaking with a personal-injury lawyer about your accident and diagnosis, you will gain an extra helping hand in your insurance claim dispute, legal case, and/or pursuit for seeking damages. Contact us today; we offer free consultations and are ready to listen to your needs.