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Guide to Diabetes

What Is Acromegaly?


Acromegaly occurs when a pituitary tumour makes too much growth hormone.

Growth hormone is normally required for growth during childhood. After puberty, too much growth hormone cannot make a person taller but it does result in enlargement of the soft tissues of the body and causes a number of other medical problems which can result in ill health if left untreated.




You may have noticed any of the following problems which may have developed over many years:

  • Hands and feet growing larger: rings may be too tight and shoe size increased.
  • Change in the appearance of the face, with coarsening of the features, prominent lower jaw and brow and large tongue
  • Headaches, often severe and unexplained
  • Excessive sweating for no apparent reason
  • Problems with high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis
  • Any of the symptoms described earlier.

Acromegaly is usually treated first by surgery which lowers growth hormone levels very substantially in 70-80 % of cases and improves symptoms in rather more than this. For more information download the leaflet below. (1)


Acromegaly Information

Information leaflet Download Document