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Level 2
Unit No:
Guided learning hours:
24 hours

Assessment Guidance

Portfolio of Evidence.


This unit introduces the learner to the signs, symptoms and factors that may cause diabetes. It also considers the impact of diabetes on different illnesses such as depression, dementia and pregnancy.

Unit Learning Outcomes


Know what is meant by diabetes.

Learning Outcome 1: Indicative Content  

The meaning of diabetes may include: 

  • life-long condition
  • glucose levels in the body are too high
  • pancreas does not produce any or enough insulin to help glucose enter the cells of the body

Key features of different types of diabetes may include:

Type 1 - treated by daily doses of insulin, can develop at any age, usually appears before a person is 40, most common type of diabetes in children

Type 2 - usually appears in people over 40, often related to life-style including obesity

Signs and symptoms that may indicate diabetes could include:

  • going to the toilet a lot
  • feeling thirsty all the time
  • more tired than usual
  • weight loss but not trying to
  • blurred vision
  • slow healing of cuts 

Assessment Criteria

  • 1.1
    Describe what is meant by the term diabetes.
  • 1.2
    Outline key features of Type 1 diabetes.
  • 1.3
    Outline key features of Type 2 diabetes.
  • 1.4
    Describe signs and symptoms that indicate an individual may have diabetes.


Know risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.

Learning Outcome 2: Indicative Content  

Risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes may include:

  • high body mass index or over weight
  • large waist in comparison to the rest of the body
  • African-Caribbean, Black African, Chinese or South Asian and over 25
  • Other ethnic backgrounds over 40
  • had high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke

Ways to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes include:

  • healthy diet
  • physical exercise 

Long term health consequences of Type 2 diabetes may include:

  • affects eye sight
  • kidney failure
  • circulation problems 
  • damage heart

Assessment Criteria

  • 2.1
    Identify risk factors associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • 2.2
    Describe ways that individuals can reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • 2.3
    Outline the long term health consequences of developing type 2 diabetes.


Know the treatment and management options for individuals with diabetes.

Learning Outcome 3: Indicative Content 

Treatment and support available may include:

a) nutritional - healthy, balanced diet; regular meal times; reduce saturated fats and salt; portion sizes; control amount of sugar eaten; keep hydrated

b) medication - dependent on individual needs, different types of medication e.g. biguanide; insulin, islet transplants

c) exercise - controls weight, helps fight infection, can lower blood glucose levels, strengthens bones, improves sleep

Importance of self-care may include:

  • maintaining independence, reduce risk of dependence
  • reduced risk of complications 
  • empowerment

Tests to monitor diabetes may include:

a) annual tests - blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and diet, smoking habits, review of exercise taken, kidneys, eyes, feet

b) daily - blood glucose levels, blood glucose targets, urine testing

Assessment Criteria

  • 3.1
    Outline the treatments and other support available for individuals with diabetes
    a) nutritional
    b) medication
    c) exercise.
  • 3.2
    Describe the importance of self-care for the individual with diabetes.
  • 3.3
    Give examples of tests used to monitor diabetes to include
    a) annual tests
    b) daily (or more frequent) tests.


Know how to respond to hypoglycaemia

Learning Outcome 4: Indicative Content  

The meaning of the term hypoglycaemia may include sugar levels are too low or the level of glucose in the blood has fallen below a set point (below 4 mol/L).

Causes of hypoglycaemia may include:

  • delayed meals
  • excessive exercise
  • alcohol
  • too high a dose of medication

Signs and symptoms include:

  • sweating
  • tiredness
  • feeling dizzy
  • feeling weak and hungry
  • confusion
  • convulsions 
  • loss of consciousness

Action to take may include:

  • eat or drink glucose tablets, sweets, sugary fizzy drinks
  • take slower acting carbohydrate if meal is not due
  • take blood test 15-20 minutes to check if blood glucose levels have recovered.

Assessment Criteria

  • 4.1
    Describe what is meant by the term hypoglycaemia.
  • 4.2
    Identify the possible causes of hypoglycaemia.
  • 4.3
    List the signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia.
  • 4.4
    Describe what action to take if an individual has hypoglycaemia.


Know how to respond to hyperglycaemia.

Learning Outcome 5: Indicative Content 

Definitions of the term hyperglycaemia may include:

  • blood glucose is too high
  • insufficient insulin

Possible causes may include:

  • eating too much sugar
  • already ill with a cold or tonsillitis

Signs may include:

  • feeling tired and thirsty
  • needing to go to the toilet more often than usual
  • headache
  • stomach ache

Action to take if an individual has hyperglycaemia may include:

  • have sugar-free drinks
  • take insulin
  • individual carrying out a test for ketones. 

Assessment Criteria

  • 5.1
    Describe what is meant by the term hyperglycaemia.
  • 5.2
    Identify the possible causes of hyperglycaemia.
  • 5.3
    List the signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia.
  • 5.4
    Describe what action to take if an individual has hyperglycaemia.


Know the links between diabetes and other conditions.

Learning Outcome 6: Indicative Content 

Impact of incurrent illness may include:

  • stress of illness can increase insulin requirements
  • difficulty managing diabetes as they would normally

Changes to treatment may include:

  • Monitor and increase fluid intake if required
  • Make sure there are arrangements in place for monitoring insulin if person is not able to during their illness
  • increasing frequency of glucose monitoring
  • maintain carbohydrate intake using fluids if patient has difficulty swallowing

Links with other illnesses may include

a) dementia - research has shown that type 2 diabetes can be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and other types of dementia; glucose is not used properly in people with dementia

b) depression - people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression, people with diabetes suffering from depression are at greater risk of suffering from an episode of diabetic burnout.

c) pregnancy - glucose levels may vary, retinopathy should be treated before becoming pregnant due to potential pressure on small vessels in the eyes, some medication cannot be taken during pregnancy

Assessment Criteria

  • 6.1
    Describe the impact of intercurrent illness on individuals with diabetes.
  • 6.2
    Outline how treatment for diabetes may be required to be changed during intercurrent illness.
  • 6.3

    Describe the links and possible complications between diabetes and
    a) dementia
    b) depression
    c) pregnancy.

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