Top
30
Doctor insights on: Acromegaly

Share
Dr. Leann Olansky
161 Doctors shared insights

Acromegaly (Overview)

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.


1

1
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

Dr. Leann Olansky
161 Doctors shared insights

Acromegaly (Overview)

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.


2

2
What is the function of the pituitary gland and how does it relate to acromegaly?

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

3

3
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

4

4
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

5

5
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

6

6
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

7

7
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

8

8
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

9

9
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

11

11
How could one treat acromegaly to become healthy?

Acromegaly: Hi. Treating acromegaly is a multi-pronged approach. The first step is almost always surgery, however surgery is often not curative. Subsequent lines of treatment include somatostatin analogs (e.g., lanreotide) and maybe the GH receptor antagonist, pegvisomant. Sometimes pituitary radiation is necessary. Good luck! ...Read more

12

12
What is the treatment for acromegaly?

What is the treatment for acromegaly?

Several options: Options include surgery to remove (or reduce in size) a pituitary tumor producing the excess growth hormone (gh), and injectable medications (octreotide, lanreotide) to suppress gh secretion, or to block to the effect of gh & igf-1 on tissues (pegvisomant). Pills may have some effect, especially if the pituitary tumor also makes another hormone called prolactin. ...Read more

13

13
Is acromegaly hereditary?

Acromegaly: That would be an extremely rare situation, to my knowledge there are no hereditary links in acromegaly. ...Read more

15

15
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

16

16
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

17

17
What are the symptoms of acromegaly?

What are the symptoms of acromegaly?

Many: Adults do not gain height once the bones are completely mineralized, but the bones can grow in width. So wider hands or feet are classic symptoms. Facial bones may enlarge and lead to coarsening of facial features; the jaw may enlarge and protrude. People with acromegaly may also have headaches, diabetes, sleep apnea, heart problems, carpal tunnel, arthritis, & higher risk for cancer. ...Read more

18

18
What are the earliest signs of acromegaly?

What are the earliest signs of acromegaly?

Acromegaly: Acromegaly is abnormal soft tissue growth from excessive growth hormone production by a pituitary tumor. A change in glove or shoe size can be the earliest sign. Some people notice a change in the spacing of their teeth, perhaps requiring braces in adulthood. Others notice gradual change in appearance, with enlargement of the nose, ears, lips, face or tongue, overgrowth of the jaw or brow. ...Read more

20

20
How to tell if these are acromegaly symptoms?

Check IGF-1: Hi. If we suspect acromegaly on clinical grounds, we check an IGF-1 (and I also get an IGFBP-3); I get a GH, but it's seldom helpful at the screening stage). If IGF-1 is elevated, then a growth hormone suppression test is done. If that's abnormal, we then do a pituitary MRI. Acromegaly tumors are usually big and easy to see. Good luck! ...Read more

21

21
I think I am suffering from acromegaly. Help?

Acromegaly: You do not say why you think you have this relatively rare disease. You should see your doctor about this. An endocrinologist is a specialist in gland disorders and would be in the best position to work this up. ...Read more

22

22
How could one treat acromegaly to become healthy?

Acromegaly: Hi. Treating acromegaly is a multi-pronged approach. The first step is almost always surgery, however surgery is often not curative. Subsequent lines of treatment include somatostatin analogs (e.g., lanreotide) and maybe the GH receptor antagonist, pegvisomant. Sometimes pituitary radiation is necessary. Good luck! ...Read more

23

23
What is the definition or description of: Acromegaly?

Acromegaly: Acromegaly = secretion of excess growth hormone after adolescence leading to thickened skin, soft tissue & bones of hands & feet. ...Read more

24

24
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

25

25
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

26

26
Can you tell me how could one treat acromegaly to become healthy?

Stepwise approach: Hi. Acromegaly is treated first by pituitary surgery. The tumors are often big and incompletely resected. Follow up can be with radiation (e.g., gamma knife) and/or somatostatin analog (e.g., octreotide, lanreotide) +/- pegvisomant. Follow IGF-1. Good luck! ...Read more

27

27
Is it true that 30-somethings with acromegaly WON'T grow any taller @ this age? Is that true even for those with just mild symptoms of the disease?

It Depends: If you got acromegaly as an adult after growth stopped this is true. However, if not treated there can be serious side effects (hearing loss, chronic headaches, arthritis, type 2 DM & others). If it was acquired as a child & not treated this is correctly termed Pituitary Gigantism & can have same symptoms. In this case the growth plates may remain open & cont growth theoretic poss, but very rare! ...Read more

28

28
What would cause out of blue growth spurts (2-3 in. In height) at 38, after being same height since early 20s? No other phys changes; no acromegaly.

What would cause out of blue growth spurts (2-3 in. In height) at 38, after being same height since early 20s? No other phys changes; no acromegaly.

Growth spurt age 38: 1. you are now wearing high heels?
2. someone snuck lifters into your shoes?
3. Your measuring tape has shrunk?
4. The Dr has changed offices and his measuring thing was misplaced on wall. ...Read more

29

29
I know acromegaly can cause added height in adulthood. But what other conditions/issues could add 2 or more inches after 38 w/.no other phys changes?

Acromegaly: Does not cause significant height growth, because following puberty the growth plates are closed and there is limited ability to grow in length. If there is excess growth hormone in childhood, before growth plates close, there can be abnormally increased height, but it is called gigantism, not acromegaly. ...Read more

30

30
Read 3 online claims of indivs growing b/w 1.5-4 inches @ ages 33, 37, 41. Does it really happen so late in life? If not acromegaly then what is cause?

Acromegaly would be: The cause. People stop growing when they are in their early 20's, in general. Someone who is 41 and continues to grow has an endocrine problem, maybe an excess of growth hormone or receiving shots of GH. I would be careful to describe this as normal. Maybe they need the services of an Endocrinologist. I hope this helps. ...Read more