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Acromegaly FAQs (cont.)

How does a tumor in the pituitary gland cause abnormal growth elsewhere?

The tumor causes the gland to produce too much growth hormone. This, in turn, stimulates the liver to produce too much IGF-1, which causes the excess tissue growth.

How common is acromegaly?

Acromegaly is a rare disease. It can affect people of any age, but is most often diagnosed in adults aged 40-45 years.

How do I know if I have acromegaly?

Most people do not know they have acromegaly until the disease is advanced. Signs of acromegaly often develop so gradually that they go unnoticed for years or even decades.

The most common symptom is enlargement of the hands or feet. You may notice that your rings are becoming too small, a sign that your hands are growing larger. You may need to buy larger shoes.

Your jaw, forehead, and other parts of the face also may enlarge. This changes the way you look. Because this growth happens slowly over time, many people, including your primary care doctor, may not notice the change in your appearance. Often, a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a few years or a new consulting doctor notices the change.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Acromegaly »

Increased and unregulated growth hormone (GH) production, usually caused by a GH-secreting pituitary tumor (somatotroph tumor), characterizes acromegaly.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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