BSIP, MAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, MAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood glucose test. Young diabetic boy testing his blood glucose level. He is using a pen-shaped pricker to draw a drop of blood from his palm. The blood will be analysed using a glucometer (not seen). Diabetics aim to maintain their blood glucose level at between 4 and 8 millimoles per litre. Diabetes is caused by low levels of the hormone insulin. Without insulin, the body cannot metabolise glucose, a sugar used for energy. Instead, fats are used as the energy source, causing the build up of ketones in the blood. This can ultimately lead to convulsions and diabetic coma.
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