Sheehan's syndrome occurs during and after childbirth and is classified as a hypopituitarism condition. It occurs when a woman loses a significant amount of blood during birth or experiences dangerously low blood pressure during and after delivery. The excessive blood loss during delivery or very low blood pressure reduces the amount of oxygen delivered through the bloodstream, affecting the pituitary gland. Cells within the gland can die, impacting its function. Reduced function results in a reduction of hormones produced by the gland, which can severely affect the condition of the new mother.
Hypopituitarism describes an under-functioning of the pituitary gland in the brain. The gland produces many hormones necessary for the body to function, and directs other glands to produce their respective hormones. In turn, these hormones tell different body systems to operate, prompting hunger cues, instructing energy and motivation, and producing milk for a new baby.
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