The name of the disease comes from acromegalytwo Greek words "Akros" - the finiteness and "megas" - large, that is, a disease in which increased limb. Acromegaly - a disease caused by excessive production of growth hormone for a long time.
Growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is small (less than 1 cm), which is located in the base of the brain, the recess in the bone, called "Turkish saddle" and produces vital hormones. Growth hormone in children provides processes of growth in length and the formation of bone and muscle, of adult controls metabolism, including metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and water and mineral substances. In addition to growth hormone (which is also called somatotropin), the pituitary gland produces:
- Prolactin (regulates the function of childbirth and breastfeeding provides)
- adrenocorticotropic hormone (controls the adrenal glands)
- thyroid stimulating hormone (regulates thyroid function)
- follicle stimulating hormone and hormone lyuteoniziruyuschy (regulate the function of the sex glands).
Monitoring the work of the pituitary performs another part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
In a healthy human growth hormone inDuring the day is not the same at different times of the day, and is subject to certain fluctuations. During the day it is celebrated in alternating episodes of blood loss and increase the amount of growth hormone, with maximum values in the early morning hours. In acromegaly, marked not only the elevation of growth hormone, but also disrupted the normal rhythm of its release into the blood.
On pituitary cells that produce growth hormonea number of specific reasons "escape" from the regulatory influence of the hypothalamus, and begin to multiply rapidly and actively produce growth hormone. Continued growth of these cells leads to the formation of benign tumors of the pituitary (the so-called "pituitary adenoma"), which in some cases can reach sizes of up to several centimeters, that is, to be much more normal pituitary sizes. Unchanged pituitary cells at the same time can be squeezed or even collapse.
The majority of patients with acromegaly pituitary tumor produces only growth hormone, however, approximately one third of patients can be observed and the overproduction of other pituitary hormone - prolactin.
Acromegaly sick people of any age, althoughthe largest number of sick patients aged 30-50 years. The disease is equally common in men and women. The disease is not inherited. In this disease, facial features, as well as the hands and feet increases disproportionately. The disease also affects the internal organs: in acromegaly disrupted liver and kidney, heart and pancreas. If the pituitary adenoma develops in childhood, when there is bone growth, the developing gigantism. In this disease, the human growth surpasses 2 meters.