The Hunger Pains
Ghrelin, Weight Loss, and Maintenance
Mount Mary College
In this interrupted case study, good friends Sara and Mallory discuss Sara's recent healthy weight loss and her difficulty in maintaining her desired weight. Sara recently heard about a hormone, ghrelin, and wonders if that chemical may have something to do with her struggle. Biology major Mallory learns a little bit about ghrelin, an amine hormone released by the stomach, and shares what she's learned with Sara. The case is presented in a "Facebook" or online discussion type of format, something most students are familiar and comfortable with. In working through the case, students will develop their understanding of hormones, with a specific focus on ghrelin and growth hormone, and explore the effect of sleep and diet on ghrelin. Written for an introductory level physiology course, the case would also be appropriate for an introductory level biology class. It can also be used in any course in which teachers want their students to develop skills in graphing, interpreting, and analyzing data.
- Understand what a hormone is and what they do, with a specific focus on ghrelin and growth hormone.
- Understand catabolism and anabolism.
- Explore the effect of sleep and diet on ghrelin.
- Make and interpret graphs.
- Critically assess a research study.
KeywordsMetabolism; hormones; endocrine system; ghrelin; growth hormone; catabolism; anabolism; graphing; data analysis
Topical AreasScientific method
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsDilemma/Decision, Discussion, Interrupted, Journal Article
Subject HeadingsPhysiology | Biology (General) | Statistics |