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A Pain in the Gut

A Case Study in Gastric Physiology


Author(s)

http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/collection/detail.html?case_id=698&id=698
John T. Ripple
Department of Biology
Villanova University
Stephen E. Marcaccio
Department of Biology
Villanova University
Daniel R. Sherman
Department of Biology
Villanova University
Philip J. Stephens
Department of Biology
Villanova University
phil.stephens@villanova.edu

Abstract

This interrupted case study in gastric physiology follows the story of Frank, a businessman under a lot of stress who has a car accident while driving home from work one night. Frank has low blood insulin levels and high blood sugar levels that his doctor believes may have contributed to the blurred vision he experienced immediately before the car crash. Frank subsequently develops stomach problems and is found to have high levels of bile in his blood. Students identify and interpret physical signs, symptoms, and medical data as they try to solve the connection between these complaints to formulate a diagnosis. The case was developed for use in a one-semester animal physiology course taken by sophomore and junior science majors. It could also be used in an anatomy and physiology course as well as a general biology course.


Objectives

  • Describe the organs in the upper left quadrant of the abdominal cavity.
  • Describe the connection between the pancreatic and bile ducts in the abdominal cavity.
  • Describe how bilirubin is formed in the spleen by the breakdown of hemoglobin to form unconjugated bilirubin and then treated at the liver to form conjugated bilirubin.
  • Describe the circulation of bile within the body and through the digestive tract.
  • Synthesize medical data and form a hypothesis to diagnose physical problems.

Keywords

Diabetes; blood sugar; jaundice; bilirubin; bile; pancreas; cancer

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Discussion, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Physiology Biology (General) Medicine (General) Nursing


Date Posted

10/15/2013

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