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  Acromegaly  autoimmune diseases cidpusa.org

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Three Common Prostate Disorders

What is acromegaly?

Acromegaly (ac-ro-MEG-a-lee) is a rare hormonal disease that can cause enlargement of the hands, feet, and parts of the face. It can also cause other symptoms. People with acromegaly may also be more likely to get certain diseases, like heart disease or diabetes. The diagnosis may be delayed for years since symptoms show up slowly.

What causes acromegaly?

Acromegaly occurs when your body makes too much growth hormone (GH). Most often, the extra GH comes from a tumor in the pituitary gland.

The pituitary gland is a small gland at the base of the brain. It produces GH, a hormone that your body needs in order to grow and function properly. Your body uses GH to produce another hormone called insulin-like growth factor I, or IGF-I (I-G-F-wun). \

When the pituitary gland makes too much GH, your body creates too much IGF-I. And that extra IGF-I can lead to many of the uncomfortable symptoms and health complications of acromegaly.

What problems can acromegaly cause?

You may notice:

  • Growth or swelling in hands or feet or an increase in ring or shoe size
  • Growth in facial features (like the chin, forehead, or nose)
  • Increased spacing of teeth
  • Enlarged tongue
  • Increased sweating, unpleasant odor
  • A tired feeling most of the time

You may also have:

  • Headache
  • Vision problems
  • Thick, oily skin
  • Pain in the joints (like the knees or hips)
  • Weak muscles
  • Tingling (pins-and-needles feeling), numbness (abnormal feeling), or weakness of the hands
  • Missing or irregular periods
  • Unusual tiredness or exhaustion
  • Swelling in the front of the neck, caused by an enlarged thyroid gland
  • Voice change (hollow-sounding voice)
  • Breathing difficulties during sleep, which can cause snoring/sleep disturbances
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Skin tags (growths of excess skin)