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Managing Acromegaly

Why growth hormone and IGF-I levels are important

Acromegaly can cause signs and symptoms due to 2 main reasons:

  1. Having too much growth hormone
  2. Having a tissue overgrowth near the brain and optic nerve

Growth hormone, or GH, is produced by the pituitary gland and travels around the body, making a substance called insulin-like growth factor-I, or IGF-I.

IGF-I helps with growth, influencing how your body uses and stores proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

In someone with acromegaly, too much growth hormone exists in the body and causes an increase of IGF-I levels. This creates changes to the body, and signs and symptoms of acromegaly can develop.

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To learn how IGF-I levels impact someone with acromegaly, read “Acromegaly and health: A guide for people with acromegaly,” 1 of 4 useful guides from the AcrolineTM series.

How to manage the symptoms of acromegaly

While symptoms of acromegaly can take to develop, the most common sign of acromegaly is the enlargement of one's face, hands, and feet. Acromegaly may affect people in different ways. Some people with acromegaly may notice physical changes over time, while others will experience less-specific symptoms such as aching joints, headaches, or fatigue.

The signs and symptoms of acromegaly

  • Broadening of the nose, lips, ears, and forehead; enlarged tongue and increased spacing between front teeth
  • Growth in hands and feet that requires larger shoes, rings, and gloves
  • Headaches
  • Hoarse voice; sleep apnea and loud snoring
  • Appearance of skin tags and excessive sweating
  • Joint or muscle pains
  • Arthritis of large joints
  • Polyps in the colon, thyroid, and uterus
  • High blood pressure and heart failure
  • Enlargement of certain organs, including the liver and heart
  • Diabetes mellitus

Sharing symptoms with your doctor

Acromegaly symptoms may fluctuate even while on treatment. That's why it's important to track and share symptoms with your doctor as you try to determine the most effective treatment and dosage.

AcroTracker display on mobile phone

AcroTracker icon

Did you know you can track symptoms on your phone and share them with your doctor?

Download the AcroTrackerTM app and also learn about a potential treatment option

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