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Doctor insights on: Acromegaly

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Dr. Leann Olansky
153 doctors shared insights

Acromegaly (Overview)

Acromegaly is a metabolic disorder caused by too much growth hormone being released in the body. This makes bones grow larger than normal, causing large hands, feet, and a thickening of the skin and joint tissues, among other symptoms.


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What sort of problem is acromegaly?

What sort of problem is acromegaly?

Excess growth hormon: It is caused by a pituitary tumor that produces growth hormone. In children, it causes gigantism, but when it happens after growth has stopped, it causes acromegaly. There can be enlargement if the jaw and forehead. It can cause high blood pressure, joint pain, skin tags, excess sweating, a goiter. It increases the risk of certain cancers. It is generally treated with surgery. ...Read more

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Dr. Leann Olansky
153 doctors shared insights

Acromegaly (Overview)

Acromegaly is a metabolic disorder caused by too much growth hormone being released in the body. This makes bones grow larger than normal, causing large hands, feet, and a thickening of the skin and joint tissues, among other symptoms.


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What is the function of the pituitary gland and how does it relate to acromegaly?

Growth Hormone: The pituitary makes a number of hormones that control the thyroid, adrenal, milk production, reproduction, etc. One of these hormones is growth hormone (gh). A pituitary tumor can overproduce a hormone, and when gh is too high, it causes acromegaly. There are a number of medications that help lower the gh and treat acromegaly, but surgery is usually required. ...Read more

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Can the face puffiness be a symptom of acromegaly?

Generally no: The facial changes associated with acromegaly are generally due to bony enlargement. The forehead and jaw can become more prominent. The cheekbones can enlarge as well. When you say. ...Read more

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Can the symptoms of acromegaly regress over time with?

Acromegaly: Acromegaly causes overgrowth of many bones including the skull, face and limbs due to an excess of growth hormone, usually caused by a pituitary tumor. When the disease is properly treated (with surgery), there will be partial but not complete improvement in the peculiar appearance due to overgrown bones; there will be more marked improvement in the aches and pain of acromegaly. ...Read more

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Can the bony signs of acromegaly return to normal over time, if treated?

Can the bony signs of acromegaly return to normal over time, if treated?

Not usually: Once bones have expended in size, they will generally not shrink, even if growth hormone (gh) and igf-1 levels are normalized. However, much of the increase in size of hands & feet and the face is caused by soft tissue enlargement, which will shrink in response to treatment. ...Read more

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Differential diagnosis for increase in height in an adult over age 35? No other real symptoms and no symptoms for acromegaly.

Differential diagnosis for increase in height in an adult over age 35? No other real symptoms and no symptoms for acromegaly.

It would be: vanishingly rare for an adult to have an significant increase in height. Most likely one of the measurements was incorrect. If concerned, check w/your doctor. Acromegaly doesn't increase height, just other bone formation. ...Read more

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212 IGF-1 (191);repeat 218; no SX acromegaly but recently diagnosed with cardiomyopathy; coincidental or should I get MRI to rule out pituitary tumor?

212 IGF-1 (191);repeat 218; no SX acromegaly but recently diagnosed with cardiomyopathy; coincidental or should I get  MRI to rule out pituitary tumor?

NO PITUITARY MRI!: Hi. Those IGF-1's would be normal for a 55 yo woman. Cardiomyopathy has a million and one causes, and acromegaly is WAY DOWN the list of likely causes. Pituitary is classic for "incidentalomas" - masses found incidentally, most of which have no bearing on disease. So you have NO biochemical evidence of acromegaly. Whatcha gonna do if a pituitary tumor IS found? Send a surgeon in??? I hope not! ...Read more

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How is a diagnostic test of acromegaly (gigantism) done?

DX acromegaly: Igf1 screening followed if positive by a gh suppression test two hours after a 100 gm gtt, plus an mri. ...Read more

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What are the tests for acromegaly?

What are the tests for acromegaly?

IGF-1, MRI, others: A screening test is igf-1 (or insulin-like growth factor). This test is more reliable than growth hormone (gh) because gh is released in pulses, so that a one-time measurement of gh doesn't mean much. If the igf-1 is high, further tests may include a test where glucose is given & gh check to see if if suppresses (normal) or stays high (acromegaly) and MRI is done to check for pituitary tumor. ...Read more