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The Word Acromegaly Day

November 1st was established as the Word Acromegaly Day with the aim of spreading awareness of this pathology, to achieve early diagnosis and timely treatment, which will reduce the risks, improve the symptoms and the quality of life the patients.

The Endocrinology Service explains that Acromegaly is a rare chronic disease caused by excesive production of growth hormone (GH). In 90% of the cases as a consequence of a tumor in the pituitary gland. The average age of presentation is a 40 years, and it affects men and women equally.

What are the main complications?

If left untreated, acromegaly can cause more serious health problems. Complications may include the following:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Problems with the heart, especially enlargement (cardiomyopathy)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Precancerous growths (polyps) in the wall of the colon
  • Sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops and restarts repeatedly during sleep
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Increased risk of cancerous tumors
  • Fractures or compression of the spinal cord
  • Vision changes or loss of visión

What are the most characteristic symptoms of acromegaly?

A common sign of acromegaly is an increase in the size of the hands and feet. For example, you may notice that some rings no longer fit on your fingers and that the number of shoe size increases progressively.

Acromegaly can also cause gradual changes in the shape of the face, such as a protruding jaw and forehead, enlarged nose, thicker lips and more space between the teeth.

Because the progression of acromegaly is slow, early signs may not be evident for years. Sometimes people notice physical changes only by comparing old and new photographs.