Gigantism is a rare condition that causes abnormal growth in children which is most noticable in terms of height, but girth is affected as well. It occurs when child’s ptuitary gland makes too much growth hormone, which is also known as somatotropin.It is nearly always caused by an adenoma which is a tumor of the pituitary gland. Gigantism occurs in patients who had excessive growth hormone in childhood. The pituitary tumor cells secrete too much growth hormone (GH), leading to many changes in the body.
CAUSES OF GIGANTISM :
Main cause is pituitary gland tumor which is almost always the cause of gigantism which is pea-sized pituitary gland located at the base of brain.
There are other less common causes of gigantism:
- McCune-Albright syndrome causes abnormal growth in bone tissue, patches of light-brown skin, and gland abnormalities.
- Carney complex is an inherited condition that causes noncancerous tumors on connective tissue, cancerous or noncancerous endocrine tumors, and spots of darker skin.
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is an inherited disorder that causes tumors in the pituitary gland, pancreas, or parathyroid glands.
- Neurofibromatosis is an inherited disorder that causes tumors in the nervous system.
SYMPTOMS OF GIGANTISM :
Child who is suffering from Gigantism may notice that they’re much larger than other children of the same age. Also, some parts of their body may be larger in proportion to other parts. Common symptoms include:
- Very large hands and feet
- Thick toes and fingers
- A prominent jaw and forehead
- Coarse facial features
- Flat noses and large heads, lips, or tongues.
Symptoms of Gigantism also depoend upon size of the pituitary gland tumor. As the tumor grows, it may press on nerves in the brain which causes
2. Vision problems
4. Excessive sweating
5. Severe or recurrent headaches
7. Insomnia and other sleep disorders
8. Delayed puberty in both boys and girls
9. Irregular menstrual periods in girls
Other symptoms include:
- Delay in puberty
- Physical changes similar to patients with acromegaly, including:
A. Abnormal enlargement of the hands and feet
B. Widening of distal fingers and toes, called "paddle" toes
C.Hands feel like soft bread dough
Changes in facial features, which can be quite prominent:
A. Enlarged forehead and jaw
B. Pronounced underbite
C. Spreading teeth
D. Enlarged tongue, nose and lips
E. Deepening of the voice in males
- Skin changes:
A.Increased number of skin tags
B.Oily skin and excessive sweating
2.Increased tissue in the wrists can lead to nerve compression, which may cause carpal tunnel syndrome
Serious conditions related to long-standing, untreated gigantism/acromegaly include
A. High blood pressure
B. Diabetes mellitus (adult-onset or Type 2)
C. Heart disease, including heart failure due to heart enlargement
Giants are at increased risk of developing other tumors or lesions of the body:
- Thyroid cancer occurs at a higher frequency; talk to your doctor about screening
- You should also undergo regular colonoscopies to screen for colon polyps
Pituitary Failure or Hypopituitarism :
Increased compression of the normal gland can cause hormone insufficiency, called hypopituitarism. The symptoms depend upon which hormone is involved.
- Reduction of sex hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
A.In men, this can lead to a low testosterone level, causing decreased sexual drive and impotence.
B.In some cases, there can be loss of body and facial hair.
C.In women, this can lead to infertility.
- Large pituitary tumors can slightly elevate blood prolactin levels.It may occurs because of compression of the pituitary stalk, the connection between the brain and the pituitary gland. It is called the "stalk effect."
In premenopausal women, this can lead to reduction or loss of menstrual periods and/or breast milk production (galactorrhea).
A.Prolactin levels are only slightly elevated, as opposed to prolactinomas in which the prolactin level is usually very high.
B.More severe hypopituitarism can lead to hypothyroidism or abnormally low cortisol levels, which may be life threatening.
Symptoms of severe hypopituitarism include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Decreased energy
- Decreased mental function
Changes in hormonal function can cause electrolyte imbalance in the blood, typically low sodium levels (hyponatremia). Symptoms could include:
- Hormone testing
- Imaging scans
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE OF GIGANTISM :
Homoeopathic totally depend upon totality of medicine for which complete case history is required including patient mentle phsyical,mentle and constitutional symptoms.Some of themedicine are
Baryta carb, Calcarea carb, Pitutary, Thyroidinum, Phosphorus, Neurolplus