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How does acromegaly affect the body?

Acromegaly causes a number of physical changes over time. Since growth hormone is responsible for organ, bone, and muscle development, overproduction leads to an abnormal growth of these tissues. People with acromegaly may have swelling in the hands and feet and develop a harsh facial appearance as the jawbone protrudes, the tongue enlarges, and the chest rounds. The heart grows, which impairs its function, and other tissue growth constricts the nerves, causing weakness, vision impairment, and headaches. In many cases, bone deformation causes joint pain, which can lead to severe arthritis.

Continue Learning about Acromegaly

How common is acromegaly?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Scientists estimate that three to four out of every million people develop acromegaly each year ...
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Is acromegaly life threatening?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
When acromegaly is treated early, doctors have a much better chance of managing the progression of t...
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What is the rate of incidence for acromegaly?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Acromegaly is a rare disease. Every year, about three or four people in every million develop acrome...
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What is acromegaly?
Joshua B. Bederson, MDJoshua B. Bederson, MD
Tumors that produce excess growth hormone cause the condition known as acromegaly. Physical changes ...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.