Betty was an active 24 year-old with a good job at the local University. She helped students navigate the complexities of the FAFSA application process to access monies for their educations. Betty loved her job and attended all of the graduation ceremonies as a final send-off of the students to their dream lives.
In September, Betty started to feel tired and had a low-grade fever. She also experienced some nausea and stomach pain. Worried that she was developing a stomach virus, she stayed at home that weekend and tried to get as much rest as possible. She turned to soft foods to decrease the stomach distress. By Monday, she was feeling a little better and hoped she was on the mend.
However, later in the week, her joints started hurting and her leg muscles were sore. She couldn’t think of anything she had done differently that would account for the muscle soreness and joint pains. She chalked that up to sleeping wrong.
A few months later, the fatigue and weakness returned and she noticed that her hair was breaking easily and thinning, and that she was developing swelling in her legs and face. She also had dry skin and craved eggs and cottage cheese. Betty couldn’t get enough of these two foods. Fearing that something serious may be wrong, Betty scheduled an appointment with her physician.
Her physician ran a battery of tests to determine that Betty was suffering from a hepatitis C virus and was experiencing hypoproteinemia. In particular, her albumin levels were low.
Based on what you’ve learned about blood flow, the liver’s role in production of proteins, and pressure at the capillaries, address the following questions.
Answer the following questions and save your responses in a Microsoft Word document. Provide a scholarly resource to support your answers.
1. Describe all the constituents contained in plasma and their concentrations.
2. Explain the liver’s role in production of proteins.
3. Why would albumin be important in regulating pressure at the capillaries?
4. Explain the process of fluid movement at both the arterial and venous side of the capillary.
5. What can Betty do to improve her situation?
Plasma is the liquid part of blood that contains water, proteins, glucose, salts, and other substances. The concentration of each substance in plasma varies, but some of the most common constituents include:
Other substances: 0.1%
The liver is a vital organ that plays a role in many bodily functions, including protein production. The liver produces about 100 grams of protein per day, which is about half of the body’s daily protein needs. The liver produces a variety of proteins, including albumin, antibodies, and enzymes.
Albumin is an important protein that helps to regulate pressure at the capillaries. Albumin is a large protein that cannot pass through the walls of the capillaries. This means that albumin helps to keep fluid inside the blood vessels. When albumin levels are low, fluid can leak out of the blood vessels and into the tissues. This can lead to swelling, or edema.
Fluid movement at the capillaries is a complex process that is influenced by a number of factors, including the pressure of the blood in the capillaries, the pressure of the fluid outside the capillaries, and the permeability of the capillary walls.
On the arterial side of the capillary, the pressure of the blood is high. This pressure pushes fluid out of the capillaries and into the tissues.
On the venous side of the capillary, the pressure of the blood is low. This pressure pulls fluid back into the capillaries.
The permeability of the capillary walls also plays a role in fluid movement. The more permeable the capillary walls, the more fluid can leak out of the capillaries and into the tissues.
There are a number of things that Betty can do to improve her situation, including:
Taking medication to treat her hepatitis C infection
Eating a healthy diet that is high in protein
Drinking plenty of fluids
Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
Getting regular exercise
It is important to note that Betty should consult with her doctor before making any changes to her diet or lifestyle.