What is acromegaly?
Acromegaly is a serious condition that occurs when the body produces too much of the hormones that control growth. This causes abnormal enlargement of bone, cartilage, muscle, organs, and other tissues. This abnormal growth can cause serious disease and even premature death.
What is a hormone?
Hormones are natural chemicals made by various organs. Hormones control many different functions in the body. Besides growth and development, they also control metabolism and reproduction and influence emotions. They affect just about every system of the body.
What causes acromegaly?
Acromegaly occurs when the body produces too much of any of the hormones that control growth. These include growth hormone (GH), growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Overproduction of these hormones is caused by certain types of tumors. In most cases, the tumor is an adenoma of the pituitary gland.
What is the pituitary gland?
The pituitary is a tiny gland that resides deep within the skull under the main part of the brain. It produces several different hormones, including growth hormone.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/28/2014
Kathryn L Hale, MS, PA-C
Hasnain M Khandwala, MD, FRCPC
Arthur B Chausmer, MD, PhD, FACP, FACE, FACN, CNS
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
George T Griffing, MD
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