Woman fighting one of world's worst cases of gigantism finally stops growing at nearly 7ft and 400lbs
Tanya Angus, 33, from Las Vegas, suffers from the rare pituitary disorder acromegaly, which is life-threatening if not treated
She was just 5ft 8in and 130lbs at the age of 21, before her diagnosis
18:29 GMT, 31 August 2012
A woman who suffers from one of the world's worst cases of gigantism has finally stopped growing thanks to aggressive new treatment.
Tanya Angus, 33, from Las Vegas, stands at nearly 7ft tall and weighs 400lbs having suffered from the rare pituitary disorder acromegaly for over a decade.
Efforts to treat the condition, that causes the body to produce too much growth hormone, remained unsuccessful until now, and Ms Angus, who was a slender 5ft 8 and 130lbs at the age of 21, continued to grow.
Rare disorder: Tanya Angus was a slender 5ft 8 and 130lbs as a teenager, pictured here in 1995 (left). /08/31/article-2196381-14C59915000005DC-954_634x417.jpg” width=”634″ height=”417″ alt=”Tanya Angus” class=”blkBorder” />
New treatment: The 33-year-old, from Las Vegas, has finally stopped growing at nearly 7ft tall, having struggled to find a way to halt the effects of her acromegaly for over a decade
Dr. Laurence Katznelson, professor of medicine and neurosurgery at
Stanford University Hospital in California, told ABC: 'Their mortality rate is two to four times greater than the general
Describing the symptoms of acromegaly, which is not hereditary, Dr Katznelson said: 'Everything gets thicker and the facial features become abnormal.'
Ms Angus, for now, is thrilled by the improvement in her condition.
She told KTNV: 'This is such good news.'
Change: Photographs of Ms Angus ages 17 (left) and 31 (right) reveal how acromegaly has affected her face
Healthier times: Before her acromegaly diagnosis, Ms Angus was a keen horserider
Her mother, Karen Strutynski added: 'This gives us renewed hope.'
Despite the improvement in her condition, Ms Angus's acromegaly has taken a serious toll on her health.
She can barely walk and is in
constant pain when she does – the only place she feels relief is a
swimming pool, where the pressure on her joints is eased.
One surgery caused a stroke that severely damaged her hearing, another 13-hour procedure nearly killed her.
Helping hands: Ms Angus pictured with her medical team and her mother (in white) in 2010
It is a far cry from Ms Angus as a
energetic 21-year-old, a keen horse-rider who loved dancing. Then 5ft
8in and 130lbs, she began to notice that her clothes no longer fit her,
and her hands had become enlarged.
Renewed hope: Ms Angus's mother, Karen Strutynski
'She was perfectly normal, but by age 22 she had grown three inches,' her mother revealed. 'Nobody knew what was going on.'
Ms Angus, who had been working as a supervisor at a Walmart in Michigan, was fired from her post when her head grew larger, and was dumped by her boyfriend when his parents questioned whether she was a man.
Not long afterwards, in 2002, she moved home to Las Vegas where a doctor quickly diagnosed her acromegaly.
Though she admits her appearance upsets her, Ms Angus hopes to inspire others with the same condition – indeed, she already receives many messages of support.
'I read emails that people send in saying, “You're my inspiration,” or, “You are so strong,”' she told ABC.
'If I am helping other people, I feel I can do anything.'
To learn more about Tanya Angus and acromegaly, visit her website, Tanyaangus.com
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