Lisa Nachtigall, MD, Clinical Director, Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Clinical Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, discusses some of the challenges of diagnosing Acromegaly.
Acromegaly is a rare endocrine 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
- Pain and tingling in the hands and wrists
- Large numbers of skin tags
- Increased incidence of colon polyps
For more information on acromegaly, visit our disease page here.