Gigantism is a rare disorder that causes abnormal growth in children. This excessive growth makes the child extremely large for her or his age.
Other symptoms include:
- thickening of the facial features;
- a release of breast milk;
- large feet and hands with thick toes and fingers;
- double vision;
- irregular periods;
- increased sweating;
- delayed puberty;
- frontal bossing and a prominent jaw;
- enlargement of soft body tissues.
The most common cause is a noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland. Nevertheless, it can also develop due to the following disorders:
- multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1;
- Beckwith Wiedemann syndrome;
- Carney complex;
- Weaver syndrome;
- McCune-Albright syndrome;
Acromegaly is a similar condition, however, it appears after the growth plate cartilage fuses in adulthood. It is most often diagnosed in middle-aged adults, however, symptoms can appear at any age.
The goal of the treatment is to reduce the overproduction of the growth hormone. This may be accomplished through the combination of surgery, medication, and radiation.
- there have been about 100 known cases of gigantism in the US to date;
- approximately 3 people out of every 1 million have some form of gigantism;
- Bao Xishun used his long arms reaching 1.06 meters to remove plastic from the stomachs of 2 dolphins after trainers tried various other methods.
Here is a list of the top 10 famous people with gigantism or acromegaly:
#1 Paul Donald Wight
He is an American actor and professional wrestler and is better known by the ring name Big Show.
In early 2017, he stated in an interview that he planned to retire from active competition in World Wrestling Entertainment in February 2018.
#2 John Rogan
John Rogan, the son of William Rogan, was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on February 16, 1868. He started to grow very rapidly at the age of 13 leading to stiffness of a joint, and eventually, he could not stand.
John moved around in a cart pulled by goats. By the year 1899, John Rogan had already reached a height of 2.59 meters (8 feet 6 inches) and became a local celebrity, also referred to as the ”Negro giant.”
#3 André the Giant
He was a French actor and professional wrestler who fought with Hulk Hogan (one of the most popular and charismatic wrestlers of all time), culminating at WrestleMania III.
André the Giant weighed 500 pounds and was 6′ 11″ tall. By the age of 12, he was so large that he did not fit on the school bus.
Because school buses couldn’t accommodate his large size, Samuel Beckett offered to take him in his truck.
He died at age 46 of congestive heart failure. His cremated remains totaled 17 pounds (about 8 kg).
#4 George Auger
George Aurer, also known as The Cardiff Giant, was born on December 27, 1881, and died November 30, 1922.
Moreover, he was frequently called “Captain”, a nickname given to him by the Queen of England when George was a London bobby standing guard outside her palace.
#5 Leonid Stadnyk
He was a Ukrainian man who stood at 2.57 meters (8 feet 5 inches) tall.
Apparently, Leonid disliked being so big since it prevented him from accomplishing common goals, such as – getting married or his lifelong dream of being a veterinarian.
He died at age 44 due to health problems.
#6 Vikas Uppal
He was a native of India and probably India’s tallest man (8 ft 3 inch) until his death on June 30, 2007. Vikas Uppal died during a brain tumor operation in Delhi.
#7 Dalip Singh Rana
He is an Indian-born American semi-retired professional wrestler and actor, and is better known by the ring name ”The Great Khali.”
On October 2000, he debuted in the world of professional wrestling, under the name Giant Singh.
In 2006, he defeated ”The Undertaker” and became the World Heavyweight Champion. His last proper wrestling match in the WWE came in October 2014, when he faced Rusev.
#8 Edouard Beaupré
He was a wrestler, circus and freak show giant, strongman, and a star in Barnum and Bailey’s circus.
According to some sources, he weighed between 9 and 14 pounds at birth. Edouard Beaupré was one of the tallest men in recorded history.
#9 Robert Wadlow
Robert Wadlow, also known as the Giant of Illinois or the Alton Giant, was the tallest man who ever lived (at least, in the recorded history). The previous record-holder was an Irishman who in 1877 had reached 8 feet and 4 inches.
Robert Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois, and appeared completely normal and healthy at birth, weighing around 8.4 lb (3.8 kilograms).
When he was only 6 months old, Robert weighed about 30 pounds, and a year later he weighed almost 62 pounds. However, when he was 5 years old, he had 5’4″ (163 centimeters) and weighed 105 lb (48 kilograms).
On his 21st birthday, he reached a final height of 8 feet 11 inches (272 cm) and a weight of 491 pounds. He was forced to wear leg braces, however, he never used a wheelchair.
He died on July 15, 1940, due to an inflamed leg, and was buried in a coffin which measured approximately 11 feet. 46 years after his death, a statue was built in Alton, Illinois dedicated to his memory.
#10 Jorge Gonzalez
He is an Argentinian wrestler and basketball player, who was described as being as high as 8 foot during his wrestling career and 7ft 7 during his basketball career.
New Additions To The List
Sultan Kösen (born 10 December 1982) is a Kurdish Turk who holds the Guinness World Record for the tallest living male at 8 ft 2.82 inch (251 centimeters).
His stature is such that he must use crutches in order to walk.
He is a Chinese retired professional basketball player who played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
There were some rumors that Yao Ming has gigantism or acromegaly, however, he does not have any of these conditions.
Do you know any other celebrity with gigantism or acromegaly? Please let us know in the comments below.
Images credit – Shutterstock
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