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Gigantism: Causes And Symptoms Essay

770 words - 4 pages

Gigantism is a rare disease that seems to cause extreme growth of a person’s height, bones, muscles, and organs. It occurs when there is too much activity in the pituitary gland, creating a tumor. The tumor is typically large and it invades the brain tissue. Gigantism normally begins during early childhood and before a child’s bone growth plate closes. This disease is not very common and has only appeared in about 100 people throughout United States history.
There are numerous symptoms to having gigantism. People with this disease can have abnormally large heads, tongues, hands, fingers, and toes. They may have enlarged organs that can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, or ...view middle of the document...

Another way is by taking blood tests to measure the levels of growth hormones that are circulating in the blood. There is also an oral glucose tolerance test that can be taken as well and if the growth hormone level rises, stays the same, or is suppressed as a result the person is diagnosed with pituitary gigantism.
Gigantism can be cured in some cases. If the walls of the pituitary tumor are defined, surgery can be performed and the patient will be treated. The surgery may have side effects of loss of sense of smell, infections, or damages to the pituitary gland.

In the circumstances that the tumor cannot be completely removed through surgery, there are medications that can be taken to reduce the release of growth hormones. The most effective medicines are somatostatin analogs, Dopamine agonists, and Pegvisomant. Not only that but there is also the choice of radiation therapy to bring the hormones back to normal but it takes about 5 to 10 years for its full effects to take place. The other problem with this is the radiation is known to cause many disabilities and problems in children. Normally doctors would only recommend this...

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