Acromegaly is a rare condition characterized by an overproduction of growth hormone (GH). The excessive secretion of GH results in an overgrowth of soft tissues and bones in the hands, feet, and face. The changes that occur as a result of excess GH can occur over a number of years and may go unnoticed for quite some time.
A protruding jaw is common in those with acromegaly.
Thickening and enlargement of the bony and soft tissues on the face may occur. This often includes the appearance of large lips and nose. Lips also appear thickened with enlargement of the tongue resulting in speech difficulties.
Hearing loss is common in patient with acromegaly due to excess GH.
A classic sign of acromegaly is enlargement of the hands and feet with joint pain that ranges from mild to crippling. One may also see hypertrophy and thickening of the skin, especially on the top of the feet, making it difficult to wear shoes.
Vision changes may occur due to pressure on the optic nerve. Headaches are common.
Joint pain ranging from mild to crippling is experienced in patients with acromegaly.
Patients with acromegaly may experience peripheral neuropathy.
Hyperglycemia occurs because GH antagonizes the action of insulin. This can result in glucose intolerance and manifestations of diabetes mellitus such as polydipsia and polyuria.
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