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Acromegaly FAQs

What is acromegaly?

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  • 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 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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