BEING TALL IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD!
WHAT IS GIGANTISM?
WHAT CAUSES GIGANTISM?
Gigantism is caused by an overproduction of growth hormone (GH) that occurs in childhood before the bone growth plates have closed. Diseases, disorders and conditions that can cause GH overproduction leading to gigantism include:
Benign tumors of the pituitary gland, which press on the pituitary gland and cause excessive GH production. This is the most common cause of gigantism.
Carney complex (rare gene mutation that causes a high risk of certain tumors including pituitary adenoma)
McCune-Albright syndrome (syndrome caused by a gene mutation)
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (inherited disorder that causes tumors to form in endocrine glands and makes them hyperactive)
Neurofibromatosis (genetic disorder causing tumor growth)
- Enlarged hands, fingers, toes, head or tongue.
- Unusually large jaw, prominent forehead, and thick facial features.
- Delayed Puberty.
Excessive sweat production.
Irregular menstrual periods in teens.
Production of breast milk.
Double vision, problems with peripheral vision.
- Weakness and tingling in the arms and legs due to enlarging tissues compressing nerves.
- Somatostatin analogs, such as octreotide and long-acting lanreotide which reduce GH release.
- Dopamine agonists (bromocriptine mesylate, cabergoline) have also been used to reduce growth hormone release, but these are generally less effective.
- GH antagonist, pegvisomant (Somavert), which blocks the effects of GH.
- Radiation therapy is used to bring growth hormones to level but takes 5-10 years for full effect. This therapy is only used when surgery and medication fail