Physiological and psychological responses to illness and treatment modalities

Objectives: Identify and select appropriate interventions including diagnostic
tests and nursing interventions. Analyze physiological and psychological responses to
illness and treatment modalities
Purpose: Examine case studies related to renal and urologic systems and answer the
assigned questions. This assignment should help refine your clinical/critical thinking skills.
Assignment Description: Answer the questions in the grading criteria related to each of the
patients provided. Your answer must follow APA 6th edition format. Submit the answer in
the assignment area of your course. This assignment is worth 35 points.
Patient 1 – Ms. Smith’s physician asks her to go to the lab and have blood drawn for a basic
metabolic panel. Her physician reports that her sodium level is 141 mEq/L and her
potassium level is 4.3 mEq/L. If the normal total body sodium and potassium levels are
relatively equal (12 mEq/L). Why is there such a dramatic difference between Ms. Smith’s
sodium and potassium levels? Patient 2. A woman has white blood cells present in her
urinalysis results. How would you determine whether she has cystitis or pyelonephritis?

Physiological and psychological responses to illness and

treatment modalities

Analysis of physiological and psychological responses to illness and treatment modalities
In the human body, the level of sodium and potassium level vary with small margins of
between (±12 mEq/L). Potassium is important and it is both a mineral and an electrolyte that
helps in regulation of minerals-water balance in the body as well as enhancing functioning of
muscles and nerves. Even though, the level of sodium and potassium are closely related, at
times there is drastic difference in their levels. The level of sodium and potassium in Smiths,
body may have differed because of the reasons below:
In human body, endocrine urinary and circulatory systems work together in maintaining
these narrow normal ranges of these substances. The reason that causes low level of potassium is
associated with medical conditions. Kidney disease hinders the normal functioning of the kidney,
which contributes, or alters the level of potassium in the body. Kidney regulates the amount of
sodium and potassium to be retained and excreted in the urine (Lemann, Pleuss & Gray, 1993).

For instance, when renal system fails to perform well, it causes kidney to reabsorb sodium in
order to conserve water in the human body. This therefore causes reduction of potassium.
Another cause is the consumption of high burns. This causes reduction in total body
water, which leads to increased levels of sodium and reduced potassium because they are found
in cells. Medication also affects the level of potassium in the body. For instance, use of loop
diuretics reduced total body water leading to increased level of sodium and reduces potassium
levels. Excess fluid are removed from the body and blood pressure is reduced when lop diuretics
are used.

Question two
White blood cells in a women urinalysis results is an indication that the women is
suffering from cystitis or pyelonephritis. Urine does not contain blood cells and any presence of
these white blood cells in urine sample is an indication that there is infection or inflammations
within the kidney or the urinary tract. Cystitis affects bladder and usually leads to presence of
white blood cells in the urine of a person suffering from the disease (Merck, 2007). Likewise,
Pyelonephritis affects the kidney and is more severe than cystitis. The diseases are caused by
bacteria infections and can lead to death if not treated. To determine whether the woman has
cystitis or pyelonephritis, a number of diagnosis and tests must be carried out. Furthermore,
symptoms may be investigated to be able to determine specific disease that the woman suffers
from. In case of cystitis, screening of the urine will help to tell that the woman has either of the
disease (Gupta et al 2011, p. 561). Symptoms will then be investigated. If the woman is suffering

from cystitis, there will be bladder spasms, there is a sense of urinating every after few minutes
and the woman should be feeling some pain above her pubic bone.
In case of pyelonephritis, two common tests will be conducted to determine whether the
kidney has infections, the urine specimens will be examined under a microscope and culturing
bacteria to determine the kind of bacteria in the blood. Symptoms will also be scrutinized such
as chills, pains in the lower part of the woman back on either of the side nausea and vomiting.
The woman may also be experiencing some of the symptoms of cystitis, pain when urinating,


Lemann, J., Pleuss, J., & Gray, W. (1993). Potassium causes calcium retention in healthy
adults. J Nut, 123:1623– 1626.
Gupta, K et al (2011). Executive Summary: International Clinical Practice Guidelines for the
Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Cystitis and Pyelonephritis in Women: A 2010
Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the European Society for
Microbiology, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 52 (5):561-564.
Merck, T. (2007). Manual: Bladder Infection (Cystitis)