This website is intended for an Australian and New Zealand audience who are interested in acromegaly
This website is intended for an Australian and New Zealand audience who are interested in acromegaly

Lowering hormones to normal levels and alleviating symptoms

The main goal of acromegaly treatment is to reduce abnormally high levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 to normal (this is known as biochemical control).

Keeping growth hormone and IGF-1 levels within normal range is important for overall long-term health and should provide some relief from symptoms.

Although achieving biochemical control may not completely reverse all of the physical symptoms or signs of acromegaly, such as a protruding jaw or enlarged hands or feet, it may reduce swelling of the soft tissues quite quickly, particularly around the face. This is often apparent to both the patient and their family.

Achieving biochemical control is also very important to reduce or prevent co-morbidities, such as heart problems and other conditions such as diabetes mellitus.

Removing or reducing the size of the tumour

An important goal of acromegaly treatment is to completely remove or reduce the size of the pituitary tumour. This is most often achieved by surgery.

Removal of the tumour, or reducing its size, can help normalise the levels of growth hormone in the body and relieve symptoms.

A further goal of surgery is to stop the tumour pressing on nearby structures such as the normal pituitary gland or the optic chiasm which can lead to shortages in other pituitary hormones or partial loss of vision (visual field defects).

In some cases, removal of the entire tumour may not be possible.  If complete surgical removal of the tumour is not possible, further treatment with medication or radiation may be needed to normalise growth hormone levels.

Maintaining normal pituitary function

Another important goal of treatment is to ensure that the pituitary gland is able to continue to function as normally as possible once the benign pituitary tumour is removed or reduced in size.

The pituitary gland plays an important role in the body aside from controlling growth and development and produces hormones that affect the normal functioning of the other endocrine glands, such as the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands and the reproductive glands (testicles and ovaries).

Normalising your life expectancy

Successful treatment of acromegaly involves not only keeping growth hormone and IGF-1 levels within their normal ranges but also appropriately managing other health issues that may arise.

Keeping conditions associated with acromegaly, such as diabetes mellitus or heart problems (e.g. atherosclerosis and hypertension) well managed are important to help maximise an individual’s life expectancy.

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Ipsen
Please always consult a healthcare professional if you require healthcare advice or if you have any specific concerns regarding your acromegaly, its treatment or side effects. The information provided here is not intended to replace professional advice. This website has been developed by Ipsen in collaboration with those living with acromegaly and the healthcare professionals who care for them. Ipsen would like to thank everyone for their valuable insights and stories. All names used on this website are not necessarily real names. Visit our website for more information about us, or to contact us directly. Website design and development by Kanga Health Ltd. Website reference SOM-AU-000710 Last reviewed 7 July 2020 Ipsen Pty Ltd Level 2, Building 4, Brandon Office Park, 540 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, VIC 3150 Australia Ipsen Pty Ltd, ABN 47 095 036 909.