Other Names for this Disease
- Postpartum hypopituitarism
- Postpartum panhypopituitarism
- Postpartum panhypopituitary syndrome
- Postpartum pituitary necrosis
- Simmond's disease
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The pituitary gland produces hormones that stimulate breast milk production, growth, reproductive functions, the thyroid and the adrenal glands. A lack of these hormones can lead to a variety of symptoms. While some women may experience early symptoms such as difficulty breastfeeding or an inability to breastfeed (breast milk never "comes in"), in most cases the signs and symptoms of Sheehan syndrome develop slowly, sometimes over a period of months or even years. For many, symptoms become apparent when the body is stressed by infection or surgery some period of time after delivery. This type of stressor can lead to an adrenal crisis. Symptoms that may develop include:
Last updated: 8/25/2011
- Vorvick L, Storck S. Sheehan syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2008; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001175.htm. Accessed 2/23/2010.
- Sheehan's syndrome. MayoClinic.com. 2009; http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/sheehans-syndrome/DS00889/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Accessed 2/23/2010.
- Schrager S, Sabo L. J Am Board Fam Med. 2001; http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/reprint/14/5/389.pdf. Accessed 2/23/2010.