- Acromegaly is caused by prolonged overproduction of GH by the pituitary gland.
- The pituitary is a small gland at the base of the brain that produces several important hormones to control body functions such as growth and development, reproduction, and metabolism.
- GH is part of a cascade of hormones that, as the name implies, regulates the physical growth of the body.
- This cascade begins in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which makes hormones that regulate the pituitary.
- The excess GH also causes changes in sugar and lipid metabolism and can cause diabetes.
- If a doctor suspects acromegaly, he or she can measure the GH level in the blood after a patient has fasted overnight to determine if it is elevated.
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