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Meet your care team

A number of healthcare professionals are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly.

Who you see will largely depend on your individual circumstances, such as if you have any other conditions associated with acromegaly.

Diagnosing acromegaly

Find out how acromegaly is diagnosed and the tests that healthcare professionals may use to assess acromegaly symptoms



What healthcare professionals are you likely to see?

From general practitioners (GPs), nurses, dentists and ophthalmologists who work in primary care, through to specialist doctors and nurses who treat people with endocrine disorders (endocrinologists and endocrine nurses) in secondary care, you are likely to see several healthcare professionals while living with acromegaly.

Once you have a confirmed diagnosis of acromegaly, a multidisciplinary team will usually coordinate your care, with the endocrinologist being your main point of contact.

From suspicion to diagnosis

Acromegaly can take a long time to develop and may not show any specific symptoms at the beginning, which may make it difficult for doctors to spot the signs of the condition at an early stage.

Initial symptoms or signs can be similar to other ailments or situations and so they may be attributed to other conditions such as depression and anxiety, arthritis or the start of the menopause in women. More distinct symptoms, such as enlargement of the hands and feet, usually occur later in the disease process.

This is why the diagnosis of acromegaly can often take several years and people may see several clinicians, including dentists and ophthalmologists, before an endocrinologist formally diagnoses them.

Do not be afraid to seek a second medical opinion, however, if you suspect that you or a loved one may have acromegaly as it is often difficult to separate acromegaly, which is a rarely diagnosed condition, from these other more common medical situations.

Who will make the diagnosis?

Once a diagnosis of acromegaly is suspected by your GP, or another primary care healthcare professional, you will normally be seen by an endocrinologist, usually at your nearest main hospital that has a specialist centre.

The endocrinologist is usually the one who confirms the diagnosis and who will oversee your care long term, so it is important to feel comfortable with them. Ask your endocrinologist to tell you a bit about their experience treating acromegaly, and perhaps ask them to put you in touch with a local pituitary patient support group.

What tests will be used?

To begin the diagnostic process, the endocrinologist will take a medical history and conduct a physical examination. Then he or she may recommend the following steps:

Hormone measurement

After fasting overnight, your doctor will take a blood sample to measure your levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Higher than normal levels of these two hormones suggest a diagnosis of acromegaly.

Growth hormone suppression test

This test is used to confirm that you have acromegaly. In this test, your blood levels of GH are measured before and after you drink a preparation of sugar (glucose). Normally, ingesting large amounts of glucose supresses GH secretion from the pituitary. If you have acromegaly, your GH level will remain high.

Imaging techniques

Your doctor will recommend that you undergo a pituitary imaging technique, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A radiologist will perform the MRI to determine the location and size of the tumour of your pituitary gland.

Who will give me my treatment?

A number of expert healthcare professionals will be involved in your care and will work together to decide what treatment is appropriate for you. This multidisciplinary approach is important for managing acromegaly, and it helps ensure that you will receive appropriate care.

The main healthcare professional that you are likely to see is an endocrinologist who will generally oversee your care.

If surgery is required, you will see a surgeon who specializes in pituitary surgery, usually a neurosurgeon.

If radiotherapy is required, then a radiotherapist will also be involved in your treatment.

In some areas there will also be a specialist (endocrine) nurse to help and support you in hospital who will act as a bridge between your primary care and secondary care.

If medicines are required to treat your acromegaly, an endocrinologist will usually be the one to recommend this treatment.

Acromunity fast facts

People can see three or more clinicians before a diagnosis of acromegaly is made. Endocrinologists are usually the first to formally confirm the condition.

How can you keep track of who’s who?

As you are likely to see several healthcare professionals throughout your journey with acromegaly, you may find it helpful to keep a log of whom you have seen and when you have had an appointment.

You might also find it helpful to write down your medical details, the results of any tests you may have had, your treatments, and any side effects or symptoms you may have had or may be experiencing.

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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 www.ipsen.ca for more information about us.


Consultez toujours un professionnel de la santé lorsque vous avez besoin de conseils en matière de soins de santé ou lorsque vous avez des préoccupations particulières concernant l’acromégalie, sa prise en charge ou ses effets secondaires. Les renseignements fournis ici ne doivent pas remplacer les conseils offerts par un professionnel. Ce site Web a été conçu par Ipsen en collaboration avec des personnes atteintes d’acromégalie et de professionnels de la santé qui s’occupent d’elles. Ipsen tient à remercier toutes les personnes qui ont participé à l’élaboration de ce site Web pour de leurs précieux commentaires et leurs témoignages. Les noms utilisés sur ce site Web peuvent être fictifs. Pour en savoir plus à notre sujet, consultez le site www.ipsen.ca

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