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Stroke

Pituitary tumor?

04/26/2004

Question:

I am a 40 yr old female. I have been having migraines weekly and general headaches and pains in the same area of my head since beginning of year. My periods have now stopped for 2 months. My GP sent me for blood tests which show low prolactin levels, other hormones are fine. I feel nausea and have found a lump under my arm. GP wants to wait another month before more tests. I don`t want to wait. I also have pins and needles in my hands and sometimes numbness. Also have dizzy spells and brain fog.What tests should I have and what do you think it could be. Please help, I am worried sick.

Answer:

Without more information about what blood tests were sent, it is hard for me to make any concrete suggestions. Your GP was probably testing to make sure that there was no evidence of a pituitary tumor (a treatable tumor that can cause headaches and also lead to your periods stopping). Sounds like they didn`t find any evidence of abnormal pituitary function, but again I really can`t make any comment without seeing the results. The other test a neurologist would probably want is an MRI scan. Not every neurologist would order one; it would depend upon your entire history of this problem. Headaches are common and are usually not associated with any other problems (like a pituitary tumor or other brain disease), but sometimes we still want an MRI scan to reassure ourselves. If a pituitary tumor is considered, it may be too small to be seen on the MRI but still cause symptoms like your periods stopping. I hope this helps. For a more in-depth opinion, you would need to be seen in the office by a neurologist. 

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Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati