Diabetes mellitus, if left untreated leads to kidney failure, elevated blood pressure, heart disease, blindness due to cataracts and retinopathy, depression, foot and leg ulcers, limb amputations and stroke, disability, premature death (Centers for Disease Control 2011). According to the Centers for Disease Control (2011), diabetes is the seventh leading cause of deaths in the US. More severe complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis and diabetic coma can occur in severe cases of diabetes (Centers for Disease Control 2011). This long list of complications demonstrate the serious nature of diabetes and the need to understand why and how these complications develop in diabetes patients. Understanding the basis of the above diabetes complications is necessary to develop effective disease managing strategies.
The morbidity and mortality related to diabetes result from uncontrolled high blood glucose levels over extended periods of time (Norris et al. 2002). By taking proper precautions and maintaining blood glucose levels within the normal range, the above-mentioned complications can be delayed, or prevented altogether (Centers for Disease Control 2011). The following sub-sections discuss three main diabetes-associated complications related to this project- hyperglycemia/high blood glucose, high blood pressure and diabetic retinopathy.
Hyperglycemia/High Blood Glucose
A high blood glucose level is the basis for all the diabetes-associated complications mentioned in the preceding paragraph (Norris et al. 2002). Maintaining blood glucose levels that are within normal limits remains the main goal of diabetes management. A fasting blood glucose of less than 100mg/dl and a postprandial blood glucose le...
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... everyday situations (Kickbusch et al.2005). Intermediate/interactive literacy refers to advanced literacy in the form of cognitive and social skills that enable communication effectively in everyday situations and enable application of information and knowledge for challenging tasks and circumstances ( Kickbusch et al.2005). Finally, proficient/critical literacy is similar to intermediate literacy but with much higher ability to critically analyze and use information much more effectively in challenging situations and life events (Kickbusch et al.2005).
In summary, there are three levels of health literacy namely basic/functional literacy, intermediate /interactive literacy and proficient/critical literacy. The level of health literacy is determined by the degree of language and comprehensive skills and the ability of the people to apply these skills in daily life.
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