Lisa Nachtigall MD, Clinical Director, Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Clinical Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School provides an overview of Acromegaly.

Acromegaly is a rare disorder caused by a noncancerous tumor on the pituitary gland, which is located just below the brain. The pituitary gland controls many body functions, including growth, metabolism and reproductive function.

In acromegaly, a tumor that grows on the pituitary gland produces too much GH, which can prompt the liver to overproduce IGF-1. Too much GH or IGF-1 in the bloodstream signals the body to grow, and can result in a wide range of signs and symptoms. People living with acromegaly can experience the following signs and symptoms:

– Enlargement of the hands, feet, tongue and internal organs
– Increased sweating
– Thickening of the facial features, especially the nose
– More prominent jaw and forehead
– Spreading out of the teeth
– Joint pain
– Sleep apnea
– Fatigue
– Pain and tingling in the hands and wrists
– Large numbers of skin tags
– Increased incidence of colon polyps

Other serious health conditions associated with the progression of acromegaly include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disorders, and cardiac and cerebrovascular disease.

Visit CheckRare’s Acromegaly Learning Page for more information.