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Acromegaly FAQs (cont.)

What is gigantism?

Gigantism is the name used for acromegaly in children. Because children’s bones are still growing, more of their bones are affected by the disease. The “long bones” of their arms and legs are particularly likely to grow more than usual. Children with acromegaly often grow very tall.

What are the complications of acromegaly?

Acromegaly can cause enlargement of body organs such as the heart, thyroid gland, liver, and kidneys. Untreated, acromegaly is linked to early heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, diabetes, and colonic polyps, a precursor of colon cancer.

People with acromegaly have almost twice the chance of dying prematurely as the general population. Successful treatment, however, will restore near normal health in most individuals.

Acromegaly that affects the heart or blood pressure or causes diabetes may have the following symptoms. These do not occur in everyone with acromegaly.

Is acromegaly a fatal disease?

Acromegaly itself is usually not fatal. The complications of acromegaly, such as heart problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes, can be life threatening. Successful treatment of acromegaly, however, will usually restore normal health.

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.

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