Health Consequences of Acromegaly:
 

  • High blood pressure 
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis
  • Increased risk for colon polyps
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Dental problems

How is acromegaly diagnosed?

  • Blood test to measure the IGF1 (somatomedin C) level
  • Oral glucose growth hormone suppression test
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the pituitary

 

More About Acromegaly


Sometimes GH-producing tumors develop in childhood, causing gigantism. Basically, gigantism is another form of acromegaly. Pediatricians may diagnose gigantism if a child's height suddenly increases beyond what would be considered normal.

Symptoms:

  • joint aches
  • enlargement of body organs including the heart
  • arthritis due to overgrowth of bone and cartilage
  • thick, coarse, oily skin
  • skin tags
  • enlarged lips, nose, and tongue
  • deepening of the voice due to enlarged sinuses and vocal cords
  • sleep apnea—breaks in breathing during sleep due to obstruction of the airway
  • excessive sweating and skin odor
  • fatigue and weakness
  • headaches
  • impaired vision
  • abnormalities of the menstrual cycle and sometimes breast discharge in women
  • erectile dysfunction in men
     

 

 

 

In most cases, acromegaly is caused by a benign tumor in the pituitary gland that releases excess growth hormone.

Treatment of Acromegaly

Surgery is usually the first treatment.
If acromegaly persists, medication is used to decrease growth hormone levels and tumor size.
Radiation is rarely used to treat acromegaly