Acromegaly: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Acromegaly is a condition when the body makes too much growth hormone (growth hormone). This resulted in parts of the body such as hands, feet, and face - are growing. It also affects the heart and bones. Excess growth hormone else is gigantism. The difference, acromegaly occur when epiphyseal bone has been shut down (that means the bones are no longer growing longer and the person is no longer getting higher) so that the bone grow in the end is too thick, while the gigantism, growth hormone excess occurs from the times before epiphyseal bone closing ( it means that someone can still grow high) so that sufferers will be higher beyond normal human age.
There are treatments for acromegaly, and each case is different. In most cases, treatment should be required before patients have symptoms. Most people who get acromegaly are adults. If children have problems with the production of too much growth hormone, the condition is called gigantism.

The most common cause of this condition is a benign tumor in the pituitary gland, which is located below the brain. The pituitary tumor is not cancerous. Because this tumor, the body makes too much growth hormone.

Occasionally, a tumor in the pancreas, liver, or a part of the brain can lead to high levels of growth hormone which leads to higher hormone levels than other hormones, also called insulin-like growth hormone.

First, the hands and feet are usually begin to swell. Patients will see changes in the circumference of the shoe, shoe size, particularly the width of the shoe.

Features on your face - lips, nose, and tongue - often changing, becoming bigger, swelling, and wider. Gigi will be enlarged so that less space and looks forward. Alis will appear lower because the jawbone and forehead began to swell you.

Other symptoms may include:
  • Joint pain, perhaps due to arthritis
  • Coarse body hair
  • Deeper and hoarse voice
  • Pinched nerve problems, especially the nerves that exit the spine because of the size of the bone is enlarged so that the root (nerve root) emanating from the spinal cord to be pinched
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • thickening of the skin
  • Sweating a lot with oily skin
  • Headache
  • Snoring and sleep apnea (cessation of breathing while asleep) • Weakness and fatigue
  • Tingling or pain in the fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • vision problems
  • Low sex drive
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle and breast size in women
  • Erectile dysfunction in men 
You can sometimes have problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, a higher chance of heart disease, and heart enlargement.

Enforcing Diagnosis
The faster acromegaly is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. The doctor will ask questions like these:
  • What is your complaint so you see her here?
  • Changes in body what have you noticed?
  • When did you first feel there is a problem in your body?
  • How do you feel now?
Your doctor will plan the best treatment, taking into account the age, health, and how far the condition of the patient.

There are three ways to treat acromegaly:
  • Surgery
  • Drugs
  • Radiation
Surgery is often the first treatment for patients with large tumors that affect vital areas, and will be a good effect for most people. The surgeon will remove the tumor from the base of the brain. To get there, they will make a small cut in the nose or inside the upper lip. In some cases, the doctor may have advised patients taking the drugs before surgery to shrink the tumor.

After surgery, complained of symptoms start to get better in a few days. Doctors may suggest taking medication after surgery to help control or cure the disease and bring growth hormone levels to return to normal:
  • Somatostatin analogues (octreotide or lanreotide)
  • Growth hormone-receptor antagonist (pegvisomant)
  • Dopamine agonists (cabergoline, bromocriptine)
The drug is good for lowering the level of growth hormone in the blood or block the effects of these hormones in the body.

Radiation helps if the patient has a tumor remaining after surgery, or if the patient requires further assistance if growth hormone levels decreased after taking the drug. It can help stop tumors growing on the body makes too much growth hormone.

When you are diagnosed with this condition, find other people who also suffer from acromegaly for support and information related to the disease. Ask your doctor if there are local support groups, or consider joining an online support group. If you think it would be helpful to talk with a counselor, your doctor can provide referrals.

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