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Many thousands of people who suffer chronic fatigue and pain in the UK, may in fact have undiagnosed hypopituitarism, a type of brain damage, according to recent press reports. If they do not have the right blood tests, then the true cause may never be spotted and treated.
Hypopituitarism is mainly caused by head injury, however viruses and tumours can also trigger the condition. NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, was considering including it in its latest head injury guidance to doctors, however unfortunately it failed to do so. This means that head injury patients are not necessarily warned about the symptoms of hypopituitarism, such as depression, obesity, high blood pressure, loss of libido or infertility.
So patients now complaining of chronic pain or fatigue symptoms often end up being told they have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. As a result they are offered treatments which do not work for the majority of sufferers. By contrast, hormone replacement therapy could be a highly effective treatment for them, if only hypopituitarism is diagnosed.
Many studies show between 20 - 30% of people who suffer a serious head injury were they are unconscious for at least 15 minutes, also damage their pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure just under the brain. It produces vital hormones which control functions such as growth and repair, the sleep-wake cycle and how we react to stress. When damaged, it can stop producing hormones triggering the symptoms of hypopituitarism in up to 30,000 people in the UK each year.
Our specialist head injury solicitors are experienced in helping brain injury sufferers. We understand that hypopituitarism is a condition which can be missed and ensure it is investigated as part of a claim, where appropriate. If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury caused by someone else, please contact Ian Shovlin or call us on 0800 073 0988.
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