DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tension of the skin due to dehydration of a person in a diabetic coma. Diabetes mellitus is a failure of the metabolism of sugars due to a lack of the pancreatic enzyme insulin. The employment of fats as an alternative source of energy by the body leads to a build-up of ketones in the blood, causing eventual convulsions and diabetic coma. The preceding symptoms of thirst, weight loss and overproduction of urine, all contribute to the dehydration (as lack of skin turgor) seen in this patient.
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