Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that arises when your pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone during adulthood. Your bones increase in size when this happens. This happens in your extremities, including your hands, feet and face.
The term “acromegaly” comes from two Greek words. It comes from “akros” which means “extreme” or “extremities” and “megalos” meaning “large”. Hence, the meaning is “extremities enlargement”.
Acromegaly usually affects middle-aged adults. It affects all ethnic groups, as well as men and women equally. In children, the result of too much growth hormone causes a condition called gigantism. These children have an abnormal increase in height and exaggerated bone growth.
Fortunately, acromegaly is an uncommon disorder. About 1 in 20,000 people in the United States are estimated to have acromegaly. It is diagnosed in about 3-4 people per million each year in America.
One of the main ways that acromegaly will affect you is by enlarging your feet and hands. You may not be able to wear a ring that used to fit, or your shoe size may progressively increase.
Your may also see gradual changes in the shape of your face. You may notice things like an enlarged nose, wider spacing between your teeth, a protruding lower brow and jaw and thickened lips.
There are many other ways in which acromegaly can affect you. Some of these are:
- Oily, coarse, thickened skin
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
- Small outgrowths of skin tissue (skin tags)
- Enlarged tongue
- Enlarged, coarsened facial features
- Impaired vision
- A husky, deepened voice due to enlarged sinuses and vocal cords
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Menstrual irregularities in women
- Pain and limited joint mobility
- Barrel chest (increased chest size)
- Enlarged spleen, liver, kidneys, heart and other organs
- Severe snoring caused by obstruction to your upper airway
- Excessive sweating and body odor.
These effects can be serious and hinder you from working. Acromegaly can also result in serious complications that involve major health problems that may cause disability. Some of these include:
- Vision loss
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Diabetes mellitus
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular disease
- Polyps (precancerous growths) on the lining of your colon
- Spinal cord compression
- Uterine fibroids
- Hypopituitarism (reduced secretion of other pituitary hormones).
If this is your situation, you may need financial assistance. Have you applied for that financial aid from the Social Security Administration and been denied?
You may appeal the denial by the Social Security Administration. If this is what you decide to do, always remember.
You may need a disability attorney like the one at disabilitycasereview.com to assist you in this process. The reason for this is because people who are represented by a disability lawyer are approved more often than those people without an attorney.