Diagnosing Sheehan's syndrome can be difficult. Many of the symptoms overlap with those of other conditions. To diagnose Sheehan's, your doctor likely will:
Jan. 02, 2014
- Collect a thorough medical history. It's important to mention any childbirth complications you may have had, no matter how long ago you gave birth. Also, be sure to tell your doctor if you didn't produce breast milk or you failed to start menstruating after delivery — two key signs of Sheehan's syndrome.
- Run blood tests. If your doctor suspects pituitary insufficiency, you'll have blood tests to check your pituitary hormone levels.
- Request a pituitary hormone stimulation test. You may need specialized stimulation testing of the pituitary hormones, which includes the injection of hormones and repeated blood tests to see how much your pituitary responds. This test is typically done after consulting an endocrinologist.
- Request imaging tests. You may also need imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography, to check the size of your pituitary and to look for other possible reasons for your symptoms, such as a pituitary tumor.
- DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=788. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Kristjansdottir HL, et al. Sheehan's syndrome in modern times: A nationwide retrospective study in Iceland. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2011;164:348.
- Jain D. A ray of hope for a woman with Sheehan's syndrome. BMJ Case Reports. 2013;Feb.4:1.
- Tessnow AH, et al. The changing face of Sheehan's syndrome. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences. 2010;340:402.
- Generalized hypopituitarism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/pituitary_disorders/generalized_hypopituitarism.html. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Nieman LK. Clinical manifestations of adrenal insufficiency in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Pituitary disorders overview. The Hormone Foundation. http://www.hormone.org/Pituitary/overview.cfm . Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Lockwood CJ. Overview of postpartum hemorrhage. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Snyder PJ. Treatment of hypopituitarism. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct.14, 2013.
- Warren MP. Appropriate use of estrogen replacement therapy in adolescents and young adults with Turner syndrome and hypopituitarism in light of the Women's Health Initiative. Growth Hormone & IGF Research. 2006;16:S98.
- Birth control methods fact sheet. WomensHealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm#h. Accessed Oct. 2, 2013.
- Growth hormone: Use and abuse. The Hormone Foundation. http://www.hormone.org/search-page?q=gorwth+hormone. Accessed Oct. 2, 2013.
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