Acromegaly

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Symptoms of Acromegaly

Visible symptoms of acromegaly may include:

  • Enlarged hands and feet
  • Changes in facial appearance (widening or protruding features, enlarged lips or tongue, spaces between teeth)
  • Skin changes (skin tags, thickening skin, excess perspiration, body odor)
  • Voice changes (deep or hoarse voice)
  • Hair growth
  • Weight gain

 
Other symptoms and conditions secondary to the excess of growth hormone (GH) may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Joint pain or limited joint movement
  • Vision changes
  • Decreased libido, erectile dysfunction
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • High blood pressure

 
Many people who experience some or all of these individual symptoms do not realize that they are related, so diagnosing acromegaly may be delayed. The patient or a sharp-eyed primary care physician may be the first to recognize the connections between a wider shoe size, menstrual changes, and vision problems. Whenever acromegaly or other hormone-related conditions are suspected, the patient should be referred for testing and definitive diagnosis. (See Diagnosing and Treating Acromegaly.)

Patients diagnosed with a pituitary tumor should be referred to a major medical center with an expert team of pituitary specialists. At the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, patients will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team that includes neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, endocrinologists, and neuroradiologists. If surgery is recommended, it will be performed by a neurosurgeon with advanced skills in minimally invasive procedures to remove pituitary tumors. (See Surgery for a Pituitary Tumor.)

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Reviewed by: Georgiana Dobri, M.D.
Last reviewed/last updated: June 2018