Acromegaly - Effects on Children and Adults

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How Does Acromegaly Affect Children and Adults?

Acromegaly can develop in people of any age but usually affects adults between the ages of 30 and 50. If acromegaly occurs in children it causes gigantism, where the skeleton grows very quickly as an excessive amount of growth hormone is released by the pituitary tumor. Without treatment the child grows very tall.

The structure of the bones of the arms and legs changes at around 17 or 18 years, when a person stops growing. This makes them unable to grow taller in adulthood. If acromegaly develops after a person has stopped growing normally, it does not affect their height. However there are many other distinctive symptoms of acromegaly in both children and adults, and over years it can have serious health consequences such as diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease and colon polyps.