High blood pressure (hypertension).
What are the causes?
A non-cancerous (benign) tumour on the gland that produces growth hormone (pituitary gland). This is a common cause.
A tumour in another part of the body, such as the adrenal gland or lungs. This is a rare cause.
What are the signs or symptoms?
Larger-than-normal hands, feet, head, nose, face, brow, or jaw.
Swelling of the hands or feet.
Headaches, fatigue or weakness, or blurred vision.
Enlarged heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, or other internal organs.
Severe problems with snoring or sleep apnoea.
Skin changes, such as skin tags or coarse skin.
Widely spaced teeth.
Numbness or tingling in the fingers.
Menstrual cycle changes in women or erectile dysfunction in men.
How is this diagnosed?
A physical examination.
Imaging tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan.
How is this treated?
Surgery to remove the tumour that is causing the condition.
- Medicines. These may be given instead of surgery, or they may be given before surgery to shrink the tumour. They may also be given after surgery:
If the surgery is not successful.
If hormone levels are still too high.
Radiation therapy. This is used if surgery and medicines are not effective.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Keep all follow-up appointments. It is important to keep follow-up appointments all through your life so that your healthcare provider can:
Check whether your pituitary gland is working well.
Look for complications of the disease.
Get eye examinations regularly.
Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as instructed by your healthcare provider.
Contact a healthcare provider if:
You have changes in your vision.
Your headaches get worse.
You have new symptoms or new pain or numbness.
Your symptoms do not get better with treatment.
Get help right away if:
You have pain or pressure in your chest.
You have difficulty breathing.
You feel faint or pass out.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem which is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
Acromegaly is a hormone disorder that causes unusual growth of the body in adults. It commonly affects the bones of the hands, feet and face.
Over time, acromegaly can lead to a number of problems or other conditions.
This condition can be caused when the body produces more growth hormone than it needs.
Acromegaly is most commonly caused by a non-cancerous (benign) tumour on the gland that produces growth hormone (pituitary gland).
This condition may be treated with medicines, radiation therapy, or surgery to remove a tumour.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.