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Hypothalamic Disorder (Hypothalamic dysfunction) : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Hypothalamic Disorder?

The hypothalamus is a small but important area in the center of the brain. It plays an important role in hormone production and helps to stimulate many important processes in the body and is located in the brain, between the pituitary gland and thalamus.

When the hypothalamus is not working properly, it can cause problems in the body that lead to a wide range of rare disorders. Maintaining hypothalamic health is vital because of this.

Hypothalamic dysfunction is a problem with part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus helps control the pituitary gland and regulates many body functions.

The thyroid gland produces two related hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which play a critical role in thermogenic and metabolic homeostasis. T4 and T3 are normally synthesized and released in response to a combined hypothalamic pituitary signal mediated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from the anterior pituitary and thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) from the hypothalamus. There is a negative feedback from thyroid hormone concentration, primarily T3, to TSH production, causing total T4, total T3, free T4, and free T3 concentrations to move in opposition to TSH concentration.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is functionally inadequate. Causes of hypothyroidism include autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto?s thyroiditis, atrophic thyroiditis, and postpartum thyroiditis; iodine deficiency, the most common cause of hypothyroidism in underdeveloped areas; congenital defects; medications or treatments that can result in hypothyroidism; central hypothyroidism in which the thyroid is not stimulated by the pituitary or hypothalamus; and infiltrative processes that may damage thyroid, pituitary, or hypothalamus. These different causes of hypothyroidism are often interrelated. Usually, the exact cause of the hypothyroidism cannot be definitively differentiated.

Hypothalamic Disorder is also known as Hypothalamic dysfunction. Hypothalamic Disorder belongs under the category of Brain disorder. Generally Male,Female are the victim of the Hypothalamic Disorder. Seriousness of this disease is Serious.

Symptoms of Hypothalamic Disorder are :

  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Weakness

    Weakness is when strength is decreased and extra effort is needed to move a certain part of the body or the entire body. Weakness is due to loss of muscle strength. Weakness can be a big part of why cancer patients feel fatigue.


    Fatigue is an extreme feeling of tiredness or lack of energy, often described as being exhausted. Fatigue is something that lasts even when a person seems to be getting enough sleep. It can have many causes, including working too much, having disturbed sleep, stress and worry, not having enough physical activity, and going through an illness and its treatment.

  • Nausea
  • Nausea and vomiting are common signs and symptoms that can be caused by numerous conditions. Nausea and vomiting most often are due to viral gastroenteritis ? often mistakenly called stomach flu ? or the morning sickness of early pregnancy.

    Many medications can cause nausea and vomiting, as can general anesthesia for surgery. Rarely, nausea and vomiting may indicate a serious or even life-threatening problem.

  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting, or throwing up, is a forceful discharge of stomach contents. It can be a one-time event linked to something that doesn?t settle right in the stomach. Recurrent vomiting may be caused by underlying medical conditions.

    Frequent vomiting may also lead to dehydration, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

  • abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain has many potential causes. The most common causes ? such as gas pains, indigestion or a pulled muscle ? usually aren't serious. Other conditions may require more-urgent medical attention.

    While the location and pattern of abdominal pain can provide important clues, its time course is particularly useful when determining its cause.

    Acute abdominal pain develops, and often resolves, over a few hours to a few days. Chronic abdominal pain may be intermittent, or episodic, meaning it may come and go. This type of pain may be present for weeks to months, or even years. Some conditions cause progressive pain, which steadily gets worse over time.

  • diarrhea
  • Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools or a frequent need to have a bowel movement. It usually lasts a few days and often disappears without any treatment. Diarrhea can be acute or chronic.

    Acute diarrhea occurs when the condition lasts for one to two days. You might experience diarrhea as a result of a viral or bacterial infection. Other times, it could be due to food poisoning.

    There?s even a condition known as traveler?s diarrhea, which happens when you have diarrhea after being exposed to bacteria or parasites while on vacation in a developing nation. Acute diarrhea is fairly common.

    Chronic diarrhea refers to diarrhea that lasts for at least four weeks. It?s usually the result of an intestinal disease or disorder, such as celiac disease or Crohn?s disease.

  • Delirium and confusion
  • constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling cold
  • Weight gain
  • Weight gain can result from an increase in body fluid, muscle mass, or fat. An increase in body fluid can come from medications, fluid and salt retention, intravenous fluid infusion, kidney or heart failure. An increase in muscle mass is commonly seen with exercising. An increase in body fat is commonly seen as a result of diet or lack of exercise as the body converts muscle to fat. An excessive weight gain is referred to as obesity. Obesity is a function of environmental (diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc.), hormonal, and inherited (genetic) factors in varying degrees. Weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy.

  • dry and scaly skin
  • hair loss
  • itchy skin
  • Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is an irritating and uncontrollable sensation that makes you want to scratch to relieve the feeling. The possible causes for itchiness include internal illnesses and skin conditions.

  • Irritability
  • mood swings
  • Irregular menstrual cycle or Irregular periods
  • On average, The normal length of a woman?s menstrual cycle is 24 to 38 days. A period usually lasts about 2 to 8 days. So this varies between individuals. When the length of the cycle is more than 35 days, or if the duration varies then it is called irregular menstruation or irregular periods.

  • lack of sex drive
  • Women's sexual desires naturally fluctuate over the years. Highs and lows commonly coincide with the beginning or end of a relationship or with major life changes, such as pregnancy, menopause or illness. Some medications used for mood disorders also can cause low sex drive in women.

  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Hot flashes from vagina
  • Changes in body fat composition
  • Lack of ambition
  • Loss of pubic hair
  • An inability to produce milk for breast-feeding
  • Frequent and prolonged infections
  • Causes

    Hypothalamic Disorder can be caused due to:

    The most common causes of hypothalamic diseases are injuries to the head that impact the hypothalamus. Surgeries, radiation, and tumors can also cause disease in the hypothalamus.

    Some hypothalamic diseases have a genetic link to hypothalamic disease. For instance, Kallman syndrome causes hypothalamic problems in children, most noticeably delayed or absent puberty, accompanied by an impaired sense of smell.

    Hypothalamus problems also appear to have a genetic link in Prader-Willi Syndrome. This is a condition in which a missing chromosome leads to short stature and hypothalamic dysfunction.

    Additional causes of hypothalamic disease can include:

    • eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia
    • genetic disorders that cause excess iron buildup in the body
    • malnutrition
    • infections
    • excessive bleeding

    What kind of precaution should be taken in Hypothalamic Disorder?

    If you have symptoms of a hormonal deficiency, discuss replacement therapy with your provider.

    Treatment for the Hypothalamic Disorder


    The health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms.

    Blood or urine tests may be ordered to determine levels of hormones such as:

    • Cortisol
    • Estrogen
    • Growth hormone
    • Pituitary hormones
    • Prolactin
    • Testosterone
    • Thyroid
    • Sodium
    • Blood and urine osmolality

    Other possible tests include:

    • Hormone injections followed by timed blood samples
    • MRI or CT scans of the brain
    • Visual field eye exam (if there is a tumor)


    Treatment depends on the cause of the hypothalamic dysfunction:

    • For tumors, surgery or radiation may be needed.
    • For hormonal deficiencies, missing hormones need to be replaced by taking medicine. This is effective for pituitary problems, and for salt and water balance.
    • Medicines are usually not effective for changes in temperature or sleep regulation.
    • Some medicines may help with problems related to appetite regulation.

    Possible complication with Hypothalamic Disorder

    Complications of hypothalamic dysfunction depend on the cause.


    • Permanent blindness
    • Problems related to the brain area where the tumor occurs
    • Vision disorders
    • Problems controlling salt and water balance



    • Inability to deal with stress (such as surgery or infection), which can be life threatening by causing low blood pressure



    • High cholesterol
    • Osteoporosis
    • Short stature (in children)
    • Weakness


    1 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001202.htm 2 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/312628 3 https://oxfordmedicine.com/view/10.1093/med/9780199235292.001.1/med-9780199235292-chapter-241 4 https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/hypothalamus#anatomy-and-function 5 http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=117&pid=1&gid=001202 6 https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/labmed/hypothalamic-disease/ 7 https://www.malacards.org/card/hypothalamic_disease