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Acromegaly

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Acromegaly is a condition caused by increased levels of growth hormone (GH). GH helps your body use energy and build bones, muscles, and tissues. GH is made by your pituitary gland, a small organ in your brain. A benign (not cancer) tumor on your pituitary gland is the most common cause of acromegaly.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
    • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
    • Trouble breathing
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a severe headache that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
  • You suddenly lose your vision.
  • Your heart is beating faster than usual.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms do not get better with treatment, or get worse.
  • Someone sees you stop breathing for more than 10 seconds while you sleep.
  • You notice changes in your vision.
  • You think you might be pregnant.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Medicine may be given to help lower your growth hormone level.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Use skin care products that help decrease oil. Ask your healthcare provider what creams or soaps can help decrease oil on your skin.
  • Apply ice or heat to painful joints. Both can help decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your skin. Place ice on your joint for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. You can apply a heat pack or warm compress for 20 minutes every 2 hours.
  • Use support devices. You may be given splints to wear on your hands to help your joints rest and to decrease inflammation. While you sleep, use a pillow that is firm enough to support your neck and head.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need a blood test every 3 to 4 months to check your hormone levels. You may need an EKG and a colonoscopy every year. These tests help monitor you for heart disease and colon cancer. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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