What is Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that causes too much growth of the hormones (GH) that are released by the pituitary gland that is at the base of the brain. It is mostly common in the middle aged people i.e. after puberty. Once GH is released by the pituitary gland, it will travel to your entire body through the bloodstream. It is caused due to a non-cancerous tumor in the brain. It would affect the hormones that are responsible for the proper functioning of the body like proper skin growth, organ growth etc. The symptoms of this disease can vary from individual to individual and its diagnosis is very tough for this reason.

Acromegaly develops gradually with time. It is not a disease that happens suddenly. It is a chronic disease. In most of the cases, it cannot be cured. The most seen symptom of acromegaly is abnormal growth of hands and feet. The diagnosis of acromegaly at a right time is very important to cure it. Otherwise, it will get worse with time and will become very difficult to control it. It can result into serious complications for the patient. It can even lead to the death of the patient.

Other symptoms of acromegaly can be change in the facial features like large lips, abnormal eye brows etc. it can also cause headaches and blurred vision. The patient will find difficulty with his/her vision. He/she will also feel tired and weak. It can also cause abnormal enlargement of heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen etc. Though the symptoms can vary from person to person, but these are some of the symptoms which are mostly seen in the patients of acromegaly. If the pituitary gland starts producing GH hormone before puberty then that situation is called as gigantism.

Acromegaly can cause abnormal growth of the bones in children like some of the children will have extreme long height or some of them will have other kind of problem. In women, it can cause breast discharge and abnormalities with her menses. It can even cause impotence in men. So its effects are very hazardous. People with this disease have higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes. Acromegaly can be diagnosed through blood exams, imaging exams like CT scan, ultrasound, X-rays and MRI scans etc. Sometimes, it is very difficult to diagnose the tumor as it can be very small. The oral glucose test is very reliable test that is mostly used to diagnose acromegaly as it gives true and efficient results. It can be treated with surgery of the tumor in the pituitary gland. The main aim of the treatment is to reduce the production of GH hormone. Sometimes medicines are also used but this therapy mostly does not gives any good results.