a.k.a - Marie's Disease, Gigantism
ACROMEGALY: Acromegaly is a condition that is due to the production of too much growth hormone by the pituitary gland after the end of adolescence.
When there is secretion of too much growth hormone before the end of adolescence, gigantism results. Individuals with pituitary gigantism can honestly turn out to be giants and sometimes end up to be over 7 or 8 feet in height. When too much growth hormone is secreted 'after' adolescence, there cannot be an increase in height but acromegaly will still take place and is a chronic disease of middle-aged people
The classic signs and symptoms of acromegaly include elongation and enlargement of bones of the extremities and certain head bones, especially the frontal bone and jaws. This enlargement effects the nose and lips with thickening of the soft tissues of the face. There is also thickening of the skin, soft tissues, and bones of the hands and feet. These effects are insidious and progress very slowly. Meaning, the effects are very cunning because the disease comes on in such a manner of lacking symptoms that it makes the patient completely unaware of its onset. It is often associated with somnolence, moodiness and decrease in libido (sex drive). Somnolence is prolonged drowsiness that resembles a trance that may continue for a number of days. This is excessive sleepiness.
Ultimately the effects cause considerable disability, not to mention the need for larger shoes, gloves and rings. Other symptoms include hoarseness, sleep apnea, joint pain, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, visual impairment and severe headaches.
Treatment is possible through medication or surgery. If there is inadequate treatment of pituitary gigantism or acromegaly it can be associated with increases in death from cardiovascular problems, cancer, and other causes.
Also known as: Marie's Disease or Gigantism
Etiology: Excessive growth hormone secretion may be caused by an adenoma of the pituitary (a tumor of the pituitary gland) or by other causes.
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