Acromegaly Symptoms

How to Recognize Acromegaly

Written by Daniel J. Toft MD, PhD

Acromegaly—a growth hormone disorder that causes excessive growth—has numerous signs and symptoms. However, they can develop slowly and seem unrelated, making this endocrine disorder hard to diagnose.

Often, the first symptom that patients notice is that their hands and feet are growing. For example, some people notice that their rings don't fit or that they need a larger shoe size.

Other feature-related changes associated with acromegaly include:

Since acromegaly is usually caused by a benign (non-cancerous) tumor on the pituitary gland, there are several symptoms related specifically to the tumor in the brain. Those symptoms include:

There are other signs and symptoms due to the enlargement of different parts of the body, including:

Other symptoms associated with acromegaly and the excessive release of growth hormone are:

The symptoms of acromegaly generally develop gradually—so you may not think much of your rings not fitting anymore or how you're having more frequent headaches. It's important to mention to your doctor any changes you notice in your overall health; with acromegaly, early diagnosis and treatment is vital.

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