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Treating and Monitoring Acromegaly

Treating acromegaly

For most people with acromegaly, treatment starts with surgery to remove the benign tumor on the pituitary gland. For those patients for whom surgery is not an option or has not been effective, radiation may be used to shrink the tumor.

Following surgery or radiation

After surgery or radiation, a patient's growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels may decrease, but not always to normal levels. Many patients are also treated with medication to control their IGF-I levels.

The goal of treatment

Medications for acromegaly are intended to normalize the levels of IGF-I. Blood tests ordered by the healthcare provider show whether the medication is working. You should keep track of your acromegaly symptoms, which may improve as your IGF-I levels improve.

Monitoring acromegaly

If you do take a medication for acromegaly, your doctor will order periodic blood tests. These simple tests are given every 3 to 6 months. They reveal the level of IGF-I in your system. This information helps your doctor know if your medication is working. It can also help your doctor determine the optimal dose of that medication for you.

If you still have symptoms of acromegaly, despite taking medications, make sure to bring this to the attention of your healthcare provider. Together you can determine if your current medication is working.

Download the AcroTracker to help track symptoms and appointments