7 Nursing Diagnosis for Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that most commonly occurs in middle-aged men and women. This causes various symptoms which slowly develop over several years. In most cases it is the result of a tumor developing within the gland. In over 99 in 100 cases, the excess hormone comes from a small tumour (growth) in the pituitary gland. This is a benign (non-cancerous) growth called a pituitary adenoma. The adenoma may grow up to 1-2 cm across. The changes caused by this growth hormone excess are not noticeable straight away, but will vastly change the person's appearance after a number of years. Treatment options include surgery to remove the tumour and medicines to block the release or effects of growth hormone.

Acromegaly is rare. About 3 or 4 people in a million develop acromegaly each year in the UK. It mainly first develops in adults between the ages of 25-40. Men and women are equally affected.

According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary acromegaly is:

"A disorder marked by progressive enlargement of peripheral parts of the body, especially the head, face, hands, and feet, resulting from excessive secretion of somatotropin; organomegaly and metabolic disorders occur; diabetes mellitus may develop."

A person suffering acromegaly will experience a change in their physical appearance and other characteristics. These may include:

  • a large jaw
  • gaps between the teeth
  • a more prominent brow
  • the soft spot of their skull appears expanded
  • hands shaped like spades
  • a lack of sensation and tingling in hands and feet
  • rough and oily skin
  • skin tags
  • heavy sweating
  • headaches
  • large tongue
  • deeper voice
  • impaired vision
  • large feet
  • swelling of internal organs (particularly the heart)

Nursing Diagnosis for Acromegaly

1. Disturbed body image

related to : enlargement of body parts as manifested by enlarged hands, feet and jaw.

2. Ineffective coping

related to : change in appearance as manifested by verbalization of negative feeling about the change in appearance.

3. Disturbed sensory perception

related to : enlarged pituitary gland as manifested by protrusion of eye balls.

4. Disturbed sleeping pattern

related to : soft tissue swelling as manifested by verbalization of the patient about insomnia.

5. Fluid volume deficit

related to : polyuria as manifested by excessive thirst of the patient.

6. Anxiety

related to : change in appearance and treatment as manifested by verbalization of the patient about body appearance.

7. Knowledge deficit : regarding development of disease and treatment as manifested by repeated questions by the patient regarding disease and treatment.

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