Diseases & Conditions

Acromegaly


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Acromegaly is excessive bone growth. It results when a person's body produces too much growth hormone. The condition causes gradual enlargement of the bones in the face, jaw, hands, feet, and skull.

What is going on in the body?

Most cases of acromegaly are caused by a pituitary tumor that is benign, which means that it is not cancer. The tumor causes the pituitary gland to make excess hormones. The high level of growth hormone produces changes in many tissues and organs. Acromegaly occurs after growth has been completed. In most cases, it begins between the ages of 30 and 50.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The high growth hormone levels that lead to acromegaly are usually caused by a pituitary tumor. No one knows what causes pituitary tumors. They are more common in women than in men.