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Forensic Pathology Case Study: Can You Stomach This - Assignment Example

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The wife is taken as a hostage and taken by the intruders, who demand that the husband go to the safe of the business and take out the days proceeds-probably about $25,000.00.
Autopsy…
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Forensic Pathology Case Study: Can You Stomach This
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Download file to see previous pages The body undergoes various physiological changes to cope up with the stress and this is the reason why the food material showed little evidence of digestion and no evidence of gastric emptying. The first and the most important response of the body in times of extreme fear is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This accounts for the release of the epinephrine and norepinephrine into the circulation. The activation of the sympathetic nervous system results in a greater amount of blood to flow to the muscles of the body and an increase in the metabolic processes of the body. But it tends to reduce the amount of blood flowing to the gastrointestinal tract. The sympathetic nervous system restricts the peristaltic activity and tone of the gastrointestinal tract via its alpha one, alpha two and beta two receptors. Furthermore, it raises the tone of the sphincters of the stomach via the alpha one receptor and decreases the secretions of the stomach via the alpha two receptors. These combined effects result in slowing of the digestive process via reduced peristalsis and reduced secretions along with restricting the process of gastric emptying by increasing the sphincter tone (Ganong 2005, 228; Guyton and Hall 2006, 754,757,758).
The second effect of stress which alters the gastric emptying is the release of stress hormones. Along with cortisol, glucagon is also a stress hormone. Apart from its effects on the other body organs, glucagon has an inhibitory effect on the stomach. It restricts the release of gastrin in the stomach and thus it alters the normal process of digestion (Ganong 2005, 485). Therefore, the activation of the sympathetic system along with the release of stress hormones accounts for the lack of gastric emptying and minimal digestion in the woman.
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