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Young diabetic child (5 1/2 years old) injecting herself with insulin. Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism whereby sugars in the body are not oxidised to produce energy due to a lack of the pancreatic hormone insulin. Unused sugars accumulate in the blood and urine; fats utilised as an alternative energy source upset the acid/base balance and lead to a build-up of ketones in blood that may eventually cause convulsions & diabetic coma. Treatment is based on a strict diet and the use of daily insulin injections to maintain the blood/sugar balance.
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