T Nation

Can Excessive Testosterone Physically Shrink the Pituitary?

This seems ridiculous to me, but it might be a hold up in getting HGH or not as it’s determined by a government’s interpretation of what doctors write.

I had an MRI and diagnosed with secondary hypogonadism because there was no tumor.

In my hospital study as to why 500mg testosterone allows for cognitive ability, masking the true cause of lower HGH, they did another two MRI’s: One that shows my pituitary is physically smaller as well as another part of my brain that determines the sense of smell (why I can’t smell but thought it was just allergies).

They’re trying to claim that taking 500mg for an excessive period (longer than 3 years) shrank my pituitary and that getting off could prove it (which I did, for 5 or so months when the MRI was taken that showed a smaller pituitary).

However, the first MRI that determined secondary hypogonadism is useless to compare because it was blurry, ruling this theory out.

Is there any such evidence anywhere that steroid abuse (as that’s what this can basically amount to) can physically shrink the pituitary (I already know about the feedback loop, but can’t believe the size can change)?

Thanks

Secondary partial empty sella syndrome in an elite bodybuilder

Abstract

The pituitary gland is a hormone-responsive gland and is known to vary in size depending on the hormonal status of the patient snd the multifaceted positive and negative feedback hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Partial empty sella syndrome with an atrophied pituitary gland is seen in primary neuroendocrinopathies such as growth hormone deficiency, primary hypothyroidism, central diabetes insipidus and hypogonadism. Partial empty sella has also been shown to occur in patients with elevations in intracranial pressure. Secondary partial empty sella syndrome with significant pituitary gland atrophy from negative feedback inhibition of long-term exogenous hormonal use has not been previously reported. We are reporting on a case of partial empty sella syndrome occurring in an elite bodybuilder with a long history of exogenous abuse of growth hormone, testosterone and thyroid hormone. The pathophysiologal mechanisms of secondary partial empty sella syndrome from exogenous hormone use and the possibility for elevations in intracranial pressure contributing to this syndrome will be discussed.

image

@wsmwannabe you may find this interesting. All of our hobbies seem to sometimes come with a penalty function.

2 Likes

Partial empty sella syndrome can sometimes be observed in conjunction with various endocrine disorders (I.e growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism etc)

One case reports exists regarding partial empty sella syndrome in conjunction with AAS abuse. It’s not that far off to think continually inhibiting the HTPA would lead to atrophy within the regions of the pituitary responsible for pumping out LH/FSH.

I’m not a doctor or medical professional. Did you fully go through puberty as a child/adolescent? It’s funny you mention a lack of smell + secondary hypogonadism as this can be associated with Kallmann syndrome. Though other symptoms present would’ve probably created issues if you had kallmann syndrome (skeletal defects etc)

1 Like

Interesting hypothesis:
image

2 Likes

I believe I did, but I do think I was always lacking HGH at this point as my forearms didn’t get as girthy as I believe they should have to be proportional with my arms as well as legs in comparison. Aside from height, as I am abnormally shorter, this is the only visible thing that I can conclude there was a lack of HGH.

They showed me an MRI of my brain as they checked where the sense of smell is after a smell test (smell 50 things and see if you can tell what it is, which I got like 4 right). That portion was underdeveloped, or small, along with two sensor lines (the translation of this is weird so I don’t know what it is).

This would also make me believe that the chicken, or HGH, came before the egg, or AAS abuse induced pituitary atrophy, as there is a 2nd part of my brain that is smaller? Doesn’t add up to me.

But I do appreciate the time for you to find that as I couldn’t find anything related to it.

As it’s an expensive treatment (up to $60k/yr), I think the government is trying everything not to give it to me and to blame AAS (500mg) on atrophy while overlooking the smell portion of my brain that is also physically smaller.

I missed this part and I think I just described that in my forearms and height… I am going to do some studying on this now.

None of the other physical traits (micropenis, cleft lip, etc.) than just the forearms and height (parents were taller and all siblings are 6 inches to a foot taller).

Should get checked for it anyway as there’s a mix of other things in there such as vision (if I focus on something it bounces around) and I’ve never been able to make use of both hands properly either (I type at an extreme speed, but I learned to hunt and peck instead of the ASDFJKL; method because it was hard).

“Interesting” is a positive term for this speculation. I’m intrigued now…I’ll try to research a bit because this sounds more like gibberish but I hope we’ll see.

Haha! It’s a hypothesis! I don’t see (albeit quick scan) alot more literature since this publication :-).