This problem happens when the pituitary gland in the brain makes too much GH. This may happen due to:
- A benign tumor of the gland (most common)
- Cancerous tumors of other organs, such as the pancreas, adrenal glands, or lung
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Symptoms usually start slowly over time.
In children, the bones grow longer and cause soft tissue swelling. If not treated, children can grow to a height of 7 to 8 feet.
Adults with acromegaly may have:
- Abnormally large growth and changes of the:
- Hands—rings no longer fit
- Feet—need a bigger size shoe
- Face—bulging of brow and lower jaw
- Jaw—teeth do not line up correctly when the mouth is closed
Skin changes, such as:
- Thickened, oily, and sometimes darkened skin
- Severe acne
- Excess sweating and body odor
- A deep voice
- Problems sleeping
- Swelling in the neck
- Fatigue and weakness in the legs and arms
- Joint pain, especially in the jaw
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Abnormal production of breast milk
- In men—problems keeping an erection
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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