I usually don’t respond to emails “out of the blue”, but this one is
close to my heart.
I am 73 and have had Empty Sella Syndrome for over 13 years. It is
apparently caused either by fluid pressure, or a benign tumor in the
"Sella", which is the cavity in which the Pituitary Gland resides.
As it progresses, damage is caused to the pituitary, because there is
nowhere for it to go. If the situation goes undetected, and nothing
reduces the fluid or tumor pressure, the pituitary is crushed into
the walls of the sella and eventually the patient dies. In most
cases, as in mine, the tumor dissipates and leaves the pituitary
damaged to some extent. An MRI will disclose the extent of damage.
Mine is pretty severe in that the what’s left of my pituitary is
"smushed" onto the walls of the Sella.
The pituitary is analagous to the central processor in a computer, as
it monitors the production of most of the hormones in the body’s
system (thyroid, adrenaline, cortisol, testosterone, etc.). Under
normal circumstances, the pituitary sends signals to these organs, to
either increase or decrease production, in order to keep the body in
balance. A damaged pituitary fails to do this adequately, depending
upon the degree of damage. A competent Endocrinologist will test for
all these hormones (rather complicated, painless, blood tests) and
determine what replacement hormones are necessary to supplement.
I have been giving myself two different injections every other day,
plus three pills/day and other than the nuisance factor, I live a
fairly normal and active life. I am a lifelong tennis player and
play at least twice a week. (One other side effect in my case is
serious insomnia, so I’m also prescribed Ambien, and that does the
If a tumor is still present in your case, you should know that a
research doctor at the University of Florida in Gainesville Florida
has perfected a method of extracting the tumor by going into the
sella through the nose. Sounds gruesome, but is presumably fairly
simple and much less complicated than previous methods, and leaves no
scars. I can’t remember this chap’s name, but if you find that a
tumor is present, contact the Univ. of Florida Medical Department (or
the Univ of Florida/Shands Hospital), and I’m sure you’ll track him
If you haven’t seen an Endocrinologist, I would strongly urge you to
do so…they are specialists in this problem.
Also, go to the following websites for more information:
or Google “Empty Sella Syndrome”
Hope this helps and best of luck.
On Jun 5, 2009, at 0137, Breebie wrote: