Several members of Acromegaly Ottawa recently travelled to Toronto for the second National/International Acromegaly Canada Conference, held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel from September 27 to 29, 2019.
This learning and networking event provided attendees with an opportunity to discover more about acromegaly, its physical and emotional impact, medical treatments, and opportunities to raise awareness and participate in innovative research.
It also offered a chance to meet with fellow acromegaly patients and their support networks—to some, this would be their first time connecting with others with the disease, which with a rare condition can be a life-changing milestone.
The insightful presentations and panel discussions touched on many facets of acromegaly, from diagnosis to treatment to lifestyle.
Here are some highlights:
- Ali Imran, professor of medicine, discussed the pituitary gland and its functions, along with which hormones to monitor (including TSH, T4, and T3), various factors that can affect hormones, and the effects of hypopituitarism. Of note: it’s often best to test hormone function within two hours of awakening, and patients should try to be consistent with the time of day at which they get their bloodwork done.
- Chris Summerville, Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Recovery Practitioner (CPRRP) and co-chair of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, explored depression and acromegaly, stressing the importance of patients being open with how they’re coping with all aspects of the disease. He shared the CHIME framework for personal recovery in mental health: connectedness, hope & optimism, identity, meaning, and empowerment. He also explained the difference between depression and apathy syndrome; the latter may have a link to pituitary illnesses and can be treated with stimulants.