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Endocrine Case Study

Shirley, a 50 year old housewife, comes in complaining of progressive weight gain of 20lbs over the last year, fatigue, postural dizziness, loss of memory, slow speech, deepening of her voice, dry skin, constipation, and cold intolerance. She is concerned and wants labs to further evaluate her condition.

PMH: Anxiety disorder diagnosed 1 year ago
Meds: alprazolam .5 every 6 hours as needed for anxiety
Allergies: None
ROS: Negative except as listed above

Physical Exam:

  • General: Obese female
  • Vitals: T 98.6F, HR 58/min and regular, BP 110/60.
  • Head: Normocephalic
  • Eyes: PERRLA, EOMI, puffiness noted around eyes and face
  • Neck: Thyroid gland is non-palpable
  • Skin/Integument: pale, cool, dry, thick skin

The provider checks labs and determines Shirley has hypothyroidism.

Question answers should be based on evidence found in readings and from peer-reviewed literature. At least two sources must be used and cited in APA format for each question. Only one source can be a textbook. Resources should generally be within 5 years unless you are explaining the pathophysiology of a disease or providing pertinent background information.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Explain the action of thyroid hormone and how this impacts the diagnosis. Your answer should contain the impact of the thyroid hormone on functions in the body.
  2. As Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH) levels rise, explain how this impacts the negative-feedback mechanism in the body.
  3. What are the roles of Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) in the body?