It's Just Stress, Right?
A Case Study on the Endocrine System
Department of Biological Sciences
Ellie is a struggling college student on the brink of failing her physiology course; not surprisingly, she exhibits many classic signs of stress. However, a visit to the health clinic reveals that she may be suffering from more than just stress. In this interrupted case, students first read about Ellie’s signs and symptoms and use a series of guided questions to make predictions about her test results and diagnosis. After Ellie receives her diagnosis, students must then explain the test results based on their knowledge of the function and regulation of the thyroid gland, and investigate various options for treatment. Designed for a two-semester undergraduate anatomy and physiology course, the case could be adapted for use in an undergraduate physiology or endocrinology course.
- List the thyroid hormones and describe their actions.
- Describe the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism.
- Understand the role of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in regulation of thyroid hormone levels.
- Describe the basic etiology of Graves’ disease.
- Describe the common tests used to diagnose Graves’ disease as well as the options for treatment.
KeywordsEndocrinology; endocrine pathology; thyroid gland; hyperthyroidism; thyrotropin-stimulating hormone; TSH; thyroid hormone; exophthalmos; beta-blocker; Graves’ disease; Graves disease; goiter
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsInterrupted
Subject HeadingsPhysiology | Biology (General) | Medicine (General) |
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.