BlogNCERTImportant Topic Of Biology: Acromegaly

Important Topic Of Biology: Acromegaly


Let’s take a look at the concept of acromegaly. It is a condition in which your body produces too much growth hormone (GH). GH is a growth hormone that is produced primarily in the pituitary gland. When this hormone is produced too much in adults, it causes the bones, cartilage, organs, and other tissues to grow in size. Symptoms of acromegaly include an increase in the size of the hands and feet. Enlargement of the forehead, jaw, and nose may also be possible.

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    Other signs and symptoms include joint discomfort, itchy skin, deep voice, headache, and eye problems. Type 2 diabetes, insomnia, and high blood pressure are all potential complications. Acromegaly is caused by an adenoma, a benign pituitary gland that produces too much growth hormone. As these plants grow, they produce an abundance of growth hormones and suppress the surrounding brain regions.

    They may suppress optic nerves in rare cases. Treatment is aimed at lowering GH production to normal levels, reversing or improving the symptoms and signs of acromegaly, relieving pressure on the growing pituitary gland that puts it around the brain, and maintaining normal pituitary function.

    Definition of Acromegaly:

    Acromegaly can be defined as a hormonal condition that occurs when the pituitary gland produces an excessive amount of STH/growth hormone at maturity. Your bones grow in size if you have a lot of growth hormones. This causes gigantism in children, which is defined as an increase in height. In age, however, there is no difference in height. Instead, acromegaly refers to an increase in the size of the bones only in the bones of your hands, foot, and face.

    The disease is not transmitted to human parents. The tumor causes acromegaly in one part of the body only in rare cases. Growth hormone is measured when a person drinks a glucose solution or insulin-like growth factor I is measured in the blood. After diagnosis, a diagnosis of the pituitary gland is performed to detect the presence of adenoma. When too much growth hormone is produced in childhood, it causes gigantism instead of acromegaly.


    The tumor causes excessive production of growth hormones linked to acromegaly.

    Adenoma of the pituitary gland:

    The most common type of tumor in the pituitary gland is a pituitary adenoma, a non-cancer or benign tumor. The pituitary gland produces a large amount of growth hormone (GH), which promotes abnormal growth. The pituitary gland is not passed down from generation to generation. They may arise as a result of small genetic mutations in a single gland cell. This cell will multiply over time and produce an adenoma, a type of tumor. Adenomas are non-cancerous as they do not spread to other regions of the body, but their size and placement may cause complications. Cancer can cause complications in nearby brain tissue as you grow older. Because the skull is a closed area, this expansion can cause headaches and visual problems by constricting the remaining tissues. Due to the location of the plant, it may affect the formation of other hormones. Because of the hormones involved, the outcome may vary between men and women. It may affect the menstrual cycle in a woman, while other men may be stronger.

    Other reasons:

    A tumor on another part of the body, such as the lungs, adrenal glands, or pancreas, may cause excessive GH production, leading to symptoms of acromegaly.

    Abscesses themselves may release growth hormone or the pituitary gland may respond to signal production by GH. Some hypothalamic plants, for example, can produce growth hormone (GHRH), which directs the body to produce GH.

    Increased production of growth hormone outside the pituitary gland, such as neuroendocrine tumors such as small lung cancer or carcinoid tumors can cause acromegaly.


    Raised arms and legs are a common symptom of acromegaly. You may notice, for example, that you can no longer wear rings that were the same size and that your shoe size has gradually increased. Acromegaly can also lead to further changes in the shape of your face, such as the appearance of the lower jaw and forehead bone, extended nose, firm lips, and wide tooth decay. Early signs of acromegaly may not appear for years due to the gradual progression of the disease. However, people can sometimes see changes in the body when comparing old and new images.

    The signs and symptoms of acromegaly vary from person to person; however, they may include any of the following:

    • The bones in the face, foot, and hands are enlarged
    • Excessive hair growth in women
    • Extended mouth or tongue
    • experienced unusual growth before puberty.
    • Gaining weight
    • Inflammation
    • Painful joints prevent movement
    • Deep voice fatigue
    • A headache
    • Muscle weakness
    • Inability to sleep
    • Increased sebaceous glands cause oiliness in the skin, thick skin tags, non-cancerous growth and body odor of excessive sweating.


    Because the symptoms of acromegaly appear more slowly, the diagnosis may take months, if not years. However, acromegaly can be detected early if the hands and feet become swollen and enlarged. In addition, people often notice when their gloves or shoes are out of balance.

    A checklist can be used to confirm acromegaly.

    IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1): Tests can show if the level is too high. The hormone IGF-1 is produced in the liver. It promotes development. Because high levels of GH promote the development of IGF-1, people with acromegaly often have high levels of this hormone.

    Measurement of other pituitary hormones is also possible.

    For example, oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) may provide a more accurate reading of GH levels.

    Before using concentrated glucose and bringing a blood sample, the patient should fast overnight. In general, the use of glucose causes a decrease in hormone levels. However, hormone levels in a person with acromegaly will remain high because the body produces too much GH.

    An MRI scan of the brain can determine the location and size of the tumor.


    The treatment of acromegaly varies from person to person. The location and size of your tumor, the severity of your symptoms, and your age and overall health will affect your treatment.

    • Treatment options for lowering GH and IGF-1 levels usually involve surgery or radiation to remove or shrink the tumor that causes your symptoms, as well as medication to help restore your hormone levels. In addition, if you are dealing with acromegaly-related health problems, your doctor may suggest other treatments that will help control your symptoms.
    • Surgery: Surgery can greatly relieve or cure the symptoms of acromegaly in most cases. The size of the tumor and location will determine the details of the operation. The purpose of surgery is to remove the entire tumor that produces the most abundant growth hormone. You may not need additional treatment if surgeons are unable to remove the tumor. However, if only part of the tumor can be removed, you may need medication.

    Also read: Important Topic Of Biology: Thyroid


    Is acromegaly a treatable condition?

    Most people with acromegaly can be helped. However, because symptoms appear more slowly, health problems may arise before the disease is diagnosed and corrected.

    What is the life expectancy of a patient with acromegaly?

    Approximately 20 studies examining mortality rates in more than 5,000 patients with acromegaly were published in 1970. In all, the death toll is nearly double that of the general population, leading to a reduction of 10 years of life expectancy.

    What do you mean by GH? Where is it produced?

    GH refers to the growth hormone that controls the growth of our body. It is produced in the pituitary gland.

    What is Adenoma?

    Adenoma is a malignant tumor produced by the pituitary gland.


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