All about the Endocrine System – Endocrine System Example

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"All about the Endocrine System" is a great example of a paper on the endocrine system.   1) What are the causes and treatments for Types 1 and 2 Diabetes Mellitus? (6 points total – 2 points each for the cause of type I and type II, 1 point each for treatment of type I and type II)  Type 1Diabetes  Mellitus (DM)  can be caused by  factors such as  diet, chemical,   drugs ingested, environment, viruses  that destroy the insulin generating cells and  genetics.     Insulin is the key drug used in the  treatment  of Type 1 DM.   DM type  II  is caused by  genetic and lifestyle factors  such as  obesity,   diet,   gender,   and  age.   DM  type  II  is  treated  by modifying the patients’ diet  as well as  exercising regularly.   2) A patient has fasting blood glucose performed and is told that the result is borderline.

What are the indications for diabetes? What is the next step? (2 points total – 1 point for an indication for diabetes, 1 point for next step)  A person with boarder line  diabetes records  higher than normal  blood sugar levels. However, even though the sugar level  could be high, there  exist no grounds  to indicate  the  existence of  full-blown  diabetes.   In case  the initial fasting blood sugar test is done and shows  borderline DM, then the  next step is to  repeat  the test.     3) The above patient also has a hemoglobin A1C test performed.

What is the reason for this test? Is there a benefit to this test vs. fasting blood glucose? (2 points total – 1 point for reason for the test, 1 point for the benefit to this test versus fasting blood glucose)  According to  Marieb  and Hoehn  (2010), hemoglobin picks up glucose,   which accumulates for three months. So, a measure of A1C can result in the establishment of the average blood sugar. Though fasting blood sugar is a test carried out to establish if a person is suffering from diabetes, hemoglobin A1C test,   which has the capability of checking the  sugar levels in key organs such as kidneys helps  avoid complications of diabetes.

More importantly,   maintaining hemoglobin  A1C  helps in the prevention of progression and other many diabetic complications.   4)  Prednisone is a common steroid used to treat a variety of  conditions. What are some of the common side effects and risks?   In  particular, what  effect does prednisone have on blood glucose and  adrenal function? (4 points total – 1 point for side effects, 1 point  for risks, 1 point for effect on blood  glucose, 1 point for effect on  adrenal function)  Common side effects and risks  The most prevalent side effects  when  prednisone  is used include weight  gain and increased appetite, immunosuppressive effect, hyperactivity with a sleeping disorder, unstable moods with increased irritability, body fluid retention, Acne, interruption in glucose tolerance,   and  high blood pressure among others.   Effect of prednisone on blood glucose and adrenal function  Chronic use of prednisone could result in the development of steroid-induced diabetes whereby the drug inhibits the production of insulin leading to higher glucose levels in the blood  (Marieb  & Hoehn, 2010).   When prednisone is taken for a prolonged duration of time, the body loses the ability to generate organic corticosteroids,   which eventually results in prednisone dependency.   5)  You receive a call from a newly diagnosed diabetic patient who is  struggling with his insulin.

He reports that he gave himself too much  insulin. What advice do you give?   (4 points total – 2 points for  correct advice given, 2 points for the reasoning behind the advice)  Administering an overdose of insulin lowers the glucose levels in the blood,   a condition known as hypoglycemia,   which is characterized by heart palpitations, seizures, excessive  sweating, and uncontrollable anxiety and hunger. The insulin,   either produced in the body or  administered  artificially, helps  control  the glucose levels in the blood.   Therefore,   excessive administration of insulin means that the glucose levels  will be  excessively reduced.   As a result of such a potential problem, I would advise the patient to consume beverages and food rich in sugar.

For a case where the patient’ s condition may not allow him to take oral sugar, the administration of glucagon injection can also help the body regain its blood sugar levels.  


Marieb, E. & Hoehn, K. (2010). Human Anatomy & Physiology (8th edn.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.
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