Student’s Name: Marylene Mosburg Date: 11/31/2014
BIO169 Case_10: Nicholas's Mysterious Suntan
This case study presents a clinical situation related to the endocrine system. The questions at the each segment of the case will test your understanding of the endocrine system.
Nicholas T., age 32, is a busy systems analyst for a computer manufacturer. Working his way up the corporate ladder, he travels extensively, putting in many hours without much sleep. Nicholas has a tendency to be overweight but continues to eat fatty foods and does not have an exercise program. He craves salty pretzels and potato chips. ? In recent months, however, he has often felt weak, and occasionally experiences dizziness when moving from a lying down to a…show more content…
He experiences severe pains in his abdomen, back, and legs. ? Feeling extremely weak, he catches a flight home, and contacts his family physician, Dr. Ortega. Dr. Ortega measures his blood pressure at 70/50 and then orders a series of laboratory tests. ? He asks Nicholas how long he has had the "tan" and the other symptoms he describes. Nicholas indicates he only noticed them within the last year.
Q. What might cause the pain in the abdomen, back and legs? Electrocytes imbalances and/or dehydration.
Q. The viral infection poses a kind of stress. Why might Nicholas have such a severe reaction? He is already in a compromised state; people who are not "healthy" have bodies that are not equipped to handle additional stressors.
Results of the lab tests on Nicholas are summarized below: low serum Na (<130 mEq/l) high serum K (>5 mEq/l) ? ratio of serum Na:K (<30:1) elevated hematocrit ? low WBC count decreased plasma cortisol and aldosterone urine ? shows increased excretion of Na and decreased excretion of K low levels of hydroxycorticosteroids in the urine
Q. How do the abnormal Na and K levels relate to adrenal function?
The mineralocorticoid (aldosterone) is normally released by the adrenal cortex in response to decreased sodium and increased pottasium levels; the hormonally acts to promote the retention of Na and the excretion of K. It isn't working; hence the abnormal serum levels.
Q. What does the high hematocrit means?
The ratio of the percentage of