A syndrome characterized by enlargement of the hands, feet, ears, nose, lips, and tongue, skin thickening and swelling of internal organs. It is caused by overproduction of growth hormone in the pituitary gland, usually by a pituitary adenoma

Symptoms of Acromegaly

The following features are indicative of Acromegaly:
  • coarse, oily and thickened skin
  • excessive sweating and body odor
  • small outgrowths of skin tissue
  • deepened, husky voice due to enlarged vocal cords and sinuses
  • severe snoring due to obstruction of the upper airway
  • impaired vision
  • headache
  • enlarged tongue
  • pain and limited joint mobility
  • menstrual cycle irregularities in women
  • enlarged hands and feet
  • erectile dysfunction in men
  • enlarged liver, heart, kidneys, spleen and other organs
  • increased chest size
  • coarsened and enlarged facial features
  • fatigue and muscle weakness
It is possible that Acromegaly shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Acromegaly

The following are the most common causes of Acromegaly:
  • overproduction of growth hormone by the pituitary gland
  • overproduction of insulin-like growth factor-I hormone

Risk Factors for Acromegaly

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Acromegaly:
  • pancreatic tumor
  • lung tumor
  • past history of pituitary tumor
  • adrenal tumor

Prevention of Acromegaly

No, it is not possible to prevent Acromegaly.
  • hormonal disorder

Occurrence of Acromegaly

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Acromegaly cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Rare between 10K - 50K cases

Common Age Group

Acromegaly can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Acromegaly can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Acromegaly

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Acromegaly:
  • Growth hormone (GH) and Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) measurement: To measure the levels of GH and IGF-I and diagnose acromegaly
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To determine the location and size of a tumor of the pituitary gland
  • Growth hormone suppression test: To verify acromegaly by measuring the blood levels of GH

Doctor for Diagnosis of Acromegaly

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Acromegaly:
  • Endocrinologist

Complications of Acromegaly if untreated

Yes, Acromegaly causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Acromegaly is left untreated:
  • premature death
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • heart problems

Procedures for Treatment of Acromegaly

The following procedures are used to treat Acromegaly:
  • Transsphenoidal surgery: To remove the pituitary tumor and normalizing the GH (growth hormone) production

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Acromegaly

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Acromegaly:
  • Proton beam therapy: Gradually lowers the GH (growth hormone) levels
  • Conventional radiation therapy: Kills the tumor cells and slowly decreases the GH (growth hormone) levels
  • Gamma Knife radiosurgery: Normalises the GH (growth hormone) levels

Time for Treatment of Acromegaly

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Acromegaly to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Acromegaly.

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