The tallest man in the world is Sultan Kosen from Turkey. He measures in at 8’3″.
Kosen was diagnosed with a rare condition called pituitary gigantism when he was 12 years old. According to his doctor, Dr Ligden Akman, Kosen’s condition is caused by a tumor on his pituitary gland that produces too much growth hormone.
This excess of growth hormone is what causes the enlargement of bones and organs throughout Kosen’s body.
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Kosen has been asked to travel all over the world, including the UK and USA, in order to be measured. However he has no desire to travel, because it takes him time to get used to a new city.
He also says that people stare at him wherever he goes. Kosen currently works a security guard at an airport in Istanbul. He makes 1000 Turkish Lira (about 500 USD) a month.
Here are some points discussed about Sultan Kosen-
1. How Sultan Kosen grew 8ft 3inches tall:
Growth Hormone disorder causes an overactive pituitary gland to produce Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-1) and its analogues. These hormones are responsible for normal growth in childhood, but then increase beyond a normal rate. IGF-1 is normally secreted by the liver after eating a meal, so that it is stored in the body.
However, if the level of IGF-1 becomes excessive it is released from being stored in the liver into blood circulation and circulates into many body tissues where it stimulates growth by inducing cell division and increasing cell number.
The growth of Kosen’s body occurred after a tumor developed in the pituitary gland, which is a pea-sized gland in the brain that produces growth hormones. Usually, this condition will occur after children reach 15 years old. Therefore, Kosen must have taken care of his health since he was very young.
2. What are the risks of having a big body?
It is possible for anyone to suffer from Gigantism due to overproduction of growth hormone. Grown ups (young people) with gigantism will suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), myocardial hypertrophy and vascular disorders just like Sultan Kosen does.
The height of Sultan Kosen is 8’3″. This size, especially for men, makes them vulnerable to osteoarthritis. Most of the joints will be easily injured during physical activities such as jumping and moving, which can cause severe disorder to a normal life. Kosen has to use a wheelchair because he suffers from this problem.
However, Sultan Kosen is happy with his body and does not have any plans for any surgery to make him taller. In fact, if an operation were performed on him it could cause even worse consequences such as death or irreversible mental illness.
3. How can someone achieve a height of Kosen’s?
The only way that would allow Sultan Kosen to stop growing is the removal of the tumor on his pituitary gland. However, there are many side effects that will occur after this operation.
For example, since the growth hormone level in his blood circulation will be reduced by 50%, it may cause growth retardation and dwarfism. Therefore, this operation is not effective for Sultan Kosen, who already suffers from Gigantism and its effects.
4. Treatment for diseases caused by Gigantism:
There is no specific treatment for Gigantism yet. However, surgery is used to alleviate the symptoms and the treatment of gigantism is mainly directed at managing physiologic effects.
Sultan Kosen attends regular physical therapy and he also takes medicines for two years to control his blood pressure and cholesterol. He also takes insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1) in order to stimulate cells from regressing. This medicine has a side effect of causing a decrease in height.
5. Sultan Kosen’s Partner:
Kosen lives alone, without any connections, because he does not want to meet anyone because he believes that meeting others will make him feel self-conscious about his height.
However, it is not true. In fact, he has a female partner that lives in Istanbul, the city where Kosen is living and working. But they do not want to be together and they never take any pictures together.
6. The future of Sultan Kosen:
Kosen wants to get married, but he does not have any children due his disability. Therefore, if he were to marry one day, he would like a tall woman in order for their children to be tall as well.
For example, if Kosen was 10cm shorter than what he is now, his wife would also have been 10cm shorter than he is now so their child will measure 10cm taller than what Kosen is now at present time.