Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Bartels, A. 2022. All About the Gut: A Comprehensive Case Study on Gastrointestinal Diseases with a Specific Focus on Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Will be published to National Center For Case Study Teaching in Science

Copyright Ali Bartels 2022.


This case study examines the process of narrowing down and diagnosing Crohn’s Disease, a type gastrointestinal disease. In real life, this can be a very long and taxing process for physicians as many GI diseases present with similar symptoms and can be hard to distinctly separate. This case study follows a young college student, Carrie, as she goes through this diagnosis process. Throughout this case study, there will be an explanation of symptom presentation followed by a series of tests, accompanied by result images, that will allow a final, conclusive diagnosis. Each step within this case study is reflective of an actual diagnosis process, including the initial suggestion of limiting diet, running colonoscopies and endoscopies, and performing MR enterography tests after the diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease to assess the severity of the case and how best to treat the individual. Throughout this process, students will be able to understand the basis of real diagnostic processes of GI diseases. After each section, students will be asked a series of questions in order to test their understanding. Real images following the tests are also included, allowing for students to see a detailed picture of what these results look like. Ultimately, this case study can be used as a great teaching tool for professors teaching classes such as physiology, pathophysiology, or even immunology to help students understand the background and specifics of Crohn’s Disease in an interactive manner.