What is the definition of Achard Syndrome?

Achard syndrome, also known as Achard-Thiers syndrome, is a rare disorder characterized by the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus combined with symptoms of androgen (male trait hormone) overproduction, such as excessive facial and body hair. Achard syndrome most often occurs in postmenopausal women but can also occur in female adolescents and young women.

What are the symptoms for Achard Syndrome?

Symptoms of Achard syndrome appear as the onset of type 2 diabetes, for which symptoms may include excessive thirst and appetite, weight loss, high glucose levels in urine, frequent urination, and symptoms of androgen overproduction, such as excess body hair (hirsutism), especially facial hair such as the development of a beard, receding hairline, deeper voice, clitoral enlargement, obesity, and infertility. Additional symptoms may include absent, infrequent, or very light menstruation, and acanthosis nigricans (darkening in skin folds). In female adolescents or young women, Achard may also be diagnosed as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What are the current treatments for Achard Syndrome?

Treatment for Achard syndrome includes diet therapy and/or insulin or other diabetes medications and oral contraceptives to control androgen overproduction in young women. Postmenopausal women with Achard syndrome are treated with hormone replacement therapy. Some individuals with Achard syndrome may be treated with anti-androgen therapy. Excess facial and body hair can be removed with cosmetic treatments, such as electrolysis or waxing.