Introduction: This metabolic syndrome case was written to illustrate the connections between a lifestyle change involving nutrition and a sedentary life, and the consequent comorbidities. Since this case is presented towards the end of the medical biochemistry course in our first-year medical curriculum, several metabolic pathways are revisited and the interactions between them are mapped, thereby showing an overall effect on different organs in the human body. Methods: This clinical-based workshop takes approximately 2 hours. The majority of the session is spent on the final discussion of the case with each group where students are given the opportunity to ask clarifying questions. The session concludes with a 15-minute individual case quiz that consists of 10 multiple-choice questions. This case can be implemented in different teaching approaches such as problem-based learning, team-based learning, or, in our case, concept mapping workshops, and any hybrids thereof. Results: Our data from the quiz and exam questions related to this material suggest that the concepts illustrated by this case were well understood by students. The average score of the attached case quiz was 83%. The case-related material was also tested in three questions on the unit 4 exam, and students scored 81%, 98%, and 98%, respectively, while the overall average of the unit exam was 81%. These data indicate that students effectively retained and applied their knowledge of this case. Discussion: The prevalence of obesity and associated comorbidities in developed countries is a growing concern for the medical community. This case comprehensively connects biochemical concepts to the importance of nutritional choices in order to provide a thorough understanding of the causes and prevention of the obesity epidemic. This acquired knowledge enables future physicians to educate their patients and their communities.
- Differentiate among the possible causes of abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism.
- Explain the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of metabolic syndrome in a patient.
- Articulate the importance of lifestyle and nutrition in development and prevention of metabolic syndrome.
- Diagnose metabolic syndrome based on physical exam and laboratory results.
- Explain how metabolic syndrome increases inflammation in the body.
- Discuss the molecular mechanisms that lead to secondary complications and to comorbidities in metabolic syndrome.
- Provide therapy life changes as preventative and/or curative options for managing metabolic syndrome.
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