Gigantism Definition

Learn about gigantism, a condition characterized by excessive growth and height due to overproduction of growth hormone. Explore causes, symptoms, health risks, case studies, and treatment options.

What is Gigantism?

Gigantism is a rare condition characterized by excessive growth and height above the normal range for a person’s age. It is usually caused by an overproduction of growth hormone during childhood and adolescence, resulting in the excessive growth of bones and tissues. Gigantism can have serious health implications if left untreated.

Causes of Gigantism

Gigantism is primarily caused by a benign tumor in the pituitary gland called adenoma, which secretes excess growth hormone. Other causes may include genetic disorders or certain diseases affecting the pituitary gland.

Symptoms of Gigantism

  • Rapid growth in height
  • Enlarged hands and feet
  • Facial changes, such as a prominent jaw or forehead

Health Risks Associated with Gigantism

Untreated gigantism can lead to various health issues, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, joint pain, and vision problems. It can also impact mental health due to the challenges of living with an unusual height.

Case Studies

One notable case of gigantism is Robert Wadlow, also known as the ‘Alton Giant,’ who stood at 8 feet 11 inches tall and is considered one of the tallest persons in recorded history. Despite his fame, Wadlow faced numerous health challenges and passed away at the age of 22.

Treatment for Gigantism

Treatment for gigantism typically involves surgery to remove the pituitary tumor or medications to control the production of growth hormone. In some cases, growth hormone therapy may be used to manage the effects of gigantism.


Gigantism is a rare and complex condition that requires medical intervention to prevent serious health complications. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing the effects of gigantism and improving the quality of life for affected individuals.

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