Gigantism is characterized by excessive growth, making a person much taller than the average human. Some people can get up to nine feet tall! It results from a rare disorder that affects the growth hormone so that it never stops being produced. However, this constant release of this growth hormone occurs before the growth plate fuses, which can lead to painful joints and limbs. The enlarged body size tends to stress specific organs, such as the circulatory system and the heart.
The skeletal system is also affected; many who have gigantism tend to need help walking with a cane or some other mobility device. Studies show that most cases of gigantism result from a tumor growing on the pituitary gland within the brain. There are only a few cases where gigantism can be passed on through a mutated gene.