ACROMEGALY

An endocrine disease

INTRODUCTION

If any of the glands does not function properly, many complications would arise in the body which could eventually lead to disorders and diseases. Acromegaly is one of the diseases

ACROMEGALY

Acromegaly is a short term condition in which there is too much growth hormone and it gets larger over time. Acromegaly is a very rare disease which occurs in 6 out of 1,00,000 adults. It affects adults in middle age . Acromegaly is often associated with Gigantism but it is different from it. If not treated Acromegaly can result in serious illness or premature death.

CAUSES

Acromegaly is caused by Abnormal production of growth after the skeleton finishes growing so that is the reason why it occurs to only adults. Acromeglay is associated with Gigantism. Excessive production of growth hormone would cause Gigantism. The cause of the incresed hormone groth hormone release is due to a non cancerous tumour in pituitary gland. As the function of the Pituitary gland is to control the production of different hormones including growth hormones. The tumours affects the pituitary gland which is the master gland of the Endocrine system.

SYMPTOMS

The name Acromegaly comes from the Greek word enlargement or extremeness reflecting one of the most common symptoms. The abnormal growth of hand and feet. Swelling of hand and feet is also a common symptom. Many times, the shoe size changes. Gradually the bone changes the facial features like jaw gets enlarged. other symptoms of Acromegaly are

Headache

oily skin

joint aches

weakness

impaired visions

Fatigues

excessive sweating



TESTS

There are many tests taken by the doctors before treating Acromegaly

  • Growth hormone level
  • insulin growth factor
  • Abnormal bone growth
  • Pituitary MRI may show the tumour
  • Tests may show an enlarged heart


TREATMENTS

A surgery to remove the tumour that is causing the condition, this corrects Abnormal growth hormone release in patients. The following medications may be used to treat Acromegaly


  • OCTREOTIDE- may control growth hormone release in patients in some people
  • PEGVISOMANT- directly blocks the effects of growth hormone. Can improve the symptoms.
  • These medication could be used before or after the surgery.

Pituitary surgery is most successful in patients depending on the size of tumour. Without the treatments the symptoms will get worse and cardiovascular diseases could increase


Radiation therapy is usually done for the people who have some tumour remaining after the surgery. Radiation leads to a lowering of Growth hormone and it could lower down the hormone level


PREVENTION

This disease is curable but early treatment may prevent the complications.