What is acromegaly?
Acromegaly is caused when the pituitary gland in the brain produces too much growth hormone (GH). This causes the hands, feet and sometimes other parts of the body grow larger than what they should. It often causes them to look out of proportion compared to the rest of the body. Acromegaly is a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed by a doctor and treated to prevent further health problems. It can be seen by itself or as symptom/part of other conditions as well.
- Cook, D., P. Freda, P. Trainer. (2012). "Fact Sheet: What is Acromegaly?" Hormone Health Network. http://www.hormone.org/questions-and-answers/2012/acromegaly[/link]
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Is there more than one name for acromegaly?
There are no other names for acromegaly. However, many people do get it confused with elephantiasis and gigantism which are different medical conditions.
How common is acromegaly?
It is estimated about 3-4 people per million will be diagnosed every year with acromegaly. However, the disease frequency is likely underestimated because the diagnosis is often missed or delayed.
- "Acromegaly" National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. April 2012. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/acromegaly/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx#common