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Acromegaly

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Acromegaly is a rare disease that affects human beings and it results to the abnormal growth of body organs. It is a serious condition that is as a result from the pituitary glands producing excessive growth hormones also known as Somatotropin. The growth hormones are responsible for the uniform growth of body organs, bones and other tissues. What principally causes the pituitary glands to dysfunction is a tumor known as pituitary adenoma. Hence the excessive growth hormones cause abnormal enlargement of body parts like hands, feet, jaws due to overgrowth of bones. Acromegaly affects both the male and the female but is more life threatening to younger people below forty years of age due to the rapid growth of adenomas. When this condition happens to children it is referred to as gigantism. If detected early this disease can be treated, but if not it can result to premature death as it is linked to life threatening conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and other body complications like colon cancer that can lead to early death (Arya, 1997).

Acromegaly is characterized by various symptoms which may vary in different people. These symptoms and signs include; the body experiencing tiredness as a result of enlargement of various body organs which presses the nerves, excessive sweating, severe headaches, the joints become painful, face, hands and feet are swollen. The wide range of these symptoms and the fact that they progresses slowly with time makes it difficult for people affected by this disease fail to recognize that they have a disease that is slowly affecting their body.

Acromegaly causes changes in the physical appearance of a person that  may not be easily identified by the person affected or the people around him. These changes may be enlargement of the jaw, swelling of the face, nose, hands and feet. Another effect of acromegaly is that contribute to the abnormal growth of the kidneys, heart and liver. The overgrowth of these organs makes them dysfunction properly. Apart from this people suffering from this disease may have difficulties in breathing while sleeping and start snoring loud.  There is also deepening of voice due to the growth of the vocal cords. Acromegaly contributes to decrease in libido and erectile dysfunction in men (Jenkins 2012).

There is a need for treatment of acromegaly as it can cause a lot of complication to the human body. Once a person has noticed abnormal growth of some of his body parts like hands or is excessively sweating, it is crucial for them to visit the hospital for treatment as they may be suffering from acromegaly.  If detected early the doctors will effectively control the release of growth hormones by the pituitary glands to normal level. Radio therapy is one effective and successful method that doctors use to regulate the release of growth hormones. Though there are medications like Bromocriptine and Octreotide that can help to reduce both the tumor size and growth hormone release. This type of medication is usually used to reduce the effects that are caused by excessive release of growth hormones.  Surgery can also be used to remove the tumor but in some cases it is not successful as at times there is a recurrence of the tumor. In other cases when the tumor is large, radio therapy is the one used as surgery is mainly used to remove small tumors. Therefore radio therapy can be said to be more effective to patients of acromegaly as it is more effective and reliable than medication and surgery (Fitzgerald, 2010).

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