Acromegaly can occur in women even anyone of any age. Treatment, as well as a diagnosis for the disease, can be reviewed from the symptoms caused. Unnatural growth hormone caused by Acromegaly can be seen from the before and after pictures. Learn more about Acromegaly: ( What is Acromegaly) Diagnosis, Symptoms, and causes.
What is Acromegaly?
Acromegaly is a rare hormonal condition that results from an excess amount of growth hormone in the body. Extra amounts of this hormone can cause the overgrowth of bones and soft tissues.
Children with an Acroromegaly condition can grow at abnormal heights. They may also have excessive bone structure. Acromegaly affects the arms and legs most.
Increased production of growth hormone is generally caused by benign tumors in the pituitary gland. Not only that, this increase in hormones can be caused by tumors in other organs of the body, such as the lungs or pancreas, but it is rare.
Although it can attack any age, acromegaly usually occurs in people aged 30-50 years. If it occurs in children, excess growth hormone does not cause acromegaly but gigantism.
How common is the condition of acromegaly?
Acromegaly is a rare disease. But the disease is more common in middle-aged adults and occurs in both men and women.
What causes Acromegaly?
Acromegaly generally occurs due to the high production of growth hormones. In adulthood, the increase in these hormones is usually caused by the presence of growing tumors. Two types of tumors can increase GH production, namely:
Most cases of acromegaly show the presence of tumors in the pituitary gland that can increase GH production. The pituitary gland is located at the bottom of the brain and nerves to produce a variety of hormones important to the body, one of which is growth hormone.
GH triggers liver organs to produce insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) which serves as a growth stimulant for bones and body tissues. Excessive GH levels affect IGF-I production, triggering abnormal growth in organs and muscle and bone tissues.
Other tumors in the body such as the brain, pancreas and lungs can increase GH production. In some other cases, the tumor produces growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), or hormone that releases growth hormone, resulting in increased GH production.
In addition to tumors, GH can also increase due to disorders in the hypothalamus so it cannot control the cells that produce GH. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that also produces some hormones that are important to the body.
What are the signs and symptoms of people who have acromegaly?
Not all acromegalic conditions show significant symptoms and signs. But it will be more pronounced as you get older. The symptoms and signs will also be different for each sufferer.
- Legs and hands enlarged
- Facial structure changes
- The size of the tongue, nose, and enlarged lips
- There is a stretch between the teeth
- Oily and rough skin
- Snoring tightly during sleep
- Chest cavity becomes wide (barrel chest)
- Hoarseness and heaviness (due to widening of the vocal cords and sinuses)
- Enlarged heart
Symptoms of acromegaly:
- Excessive sweating, body odor
- Weakened muscles
- Joint pain and limited mobility
- Visual impairment
- Difficulty sleeping
- Menstrual cycle disorders in women
- Erectile Dysfunction in Men
- Loss of sex drive