Acromegaly is an infrequently diagnosed but treatable hormonal or endocrine disorder that is due to having too much growth hormone in the body.
‘Acro’ comes from the Greek word ákros, meaning topmost or highest and refers to the extremities of the body (such as the hands and feet).
‘Megaly’ comes from the Greek word for great, meaning enlarged. So acromegaly literally means ‘large extremities’.
Acromegaly and gigantism are two different conditions. As general rule acromegaly occurs in adults and gigantism occurs in children and adolescents.
Both are rare diagnoses and are due to having excess levels of growth hormone in the body.
The main difference between acromegaly and gigantism is that gigantism occurs in childhood when the long bones are still growing in length and susceptible to the effects of growth hormone and another hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This can make those affected grow very tall, very quickly.
Find out how acromegaly is diagnosed and the tests that healthcare professionals may use to assess acromegaly symptomsDiagnosis & Testing
Read and hear answers to some common questions that patients with acromegaly have askedView FAQs
Learn about acromegaly including what causes this slowly evolving condition, and the early signs and symptomsLearn about acromegaly