Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that results when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone in adults. The name acromegaly comes from the Greek words for “extremities” and “enlargement” and reflects one of its most common symptoms, the abnormal growth of the hands and feet. The symptoms of acromegaly can vary and they develop gradually over time; therefore, a diagnosis of this condition may be difficult. Once recognized, acromegaly is treatable in most patients, but because of its slow onset, it frequently is not diagnosed correctly. If left untreated, acromegaly can lead to serious illness – including cardiovascular disease and diabetes – and premature death. (803)
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