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Where On The Body Do I Inject With The Insulin Pen
Recommended injection sites include the abdomen, front and side of the thighs, upper and outer arms and buttocks. Do not inject near joints, the groin area, the navel, the middle of the abdomen, or scar tissue.
You will also need to rotate, or switch, your injection sites. If you use the same injection site over and over again, you may develop hardened areas under your skin that keep the insulin from working properly. Rotating your injection sites will make your injections easier, safer and more comfortable.
Follow these guidelines:
- Ask your healthcare provider which sites on your body you should use for injections.
- The injection site is about two inches of skin. Clean this area with an alcohol wipe in a circular motion.
- Move the site of each injection. Inject at least one-and-a-half inches away from the last spot where you injected.
- Try to inject in the same general area of your body at the same time each day.
- Keep a record of which injection sites you have used. Every time you give yourself an injection, write down the date, time and site.
Depending on which type of insulin you are taking, different parts of the body may absorb the insulin differently.
What Is Insulin And Why Do I Need It
Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar in your body. People with diabetes may not have enough insulin or may not be able to use it properly. The sugar builds up in the blood and overflows into the urine, passing out of your body unused. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems.
All people with type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes, need to take insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. The goal in treating diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level within a normal range.
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When Do People With Type 2 Diabetes Start Insulin
After 10 to 20 years, many people with type 2 diabetes will begin insulin therapy, although every persons journey with type 2 diabetes is different. This happens when lifestyle changes and medications arent keeping your glucose levels in your target range. It is important that you start treatment as early as possible to avoid persistent hyperglycemia , which can lead to long-term health complications affecting your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs.
Dont Inject The Insulin Too Deep
Insulin is supposed to be injected into the fat layer under the skin using a short needle. This is referred to as a subcutaneous injection.
If you inject the insulin too deep and it enters your muscle, your body may absorb it too quickly. The insulin might not last very long, and the injection could be very painful.
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When Do I Take Rapid
You should inject rapid-acting insulin no more than 15 minutes before you eat. Your doctor will tell you how much insulin to inject. Remember, you should not wait more than 15 minutes to eat after you take this insulin shot.
Rapid-acting insulin can be more convenient to take than regular insulin. With regular insulin, you inject the insulin and then wait 30 to 60 minutes before eating. Many people find it hard to time their meals around regular insulin injections. Sometimes they end up eating too soon or too late. Then they dont achieve the best blood sugar control. Since rapid-acting insulin is taken so close to mealtime, it may help you control your blood sugar more effectively.
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Putting It All Together
Now that you know the how and why behind insulin dosing, lets consider how you may calculate your insulin needs.
Youll usually give yourself an insulin dose around your meals since thats when you take in carbohydrates. You also will typically check your blood sugar to see if youre meeting your premeal target dose.
To calculate your insulin needs:
You may find that if you generally eat about the same amount of carbohydrates each day, you may be able to consistently inject the same amounts of insulin outside of special occasions. It takes time to find out how your body best responds to insulin.
Can I Mix Rapid
You can mix a rapid-acting insulin with an intermediate-acting insulin, according to your doctors instructions. Rapid-acting insulin should always be drawn into the syringe first. This will keep the intermediate-acting insulin from getting into the rapid-acting insulin bottle. After mixing rapid-acting insulin in the same syringe with an intermediate-acting insulin, you must inject the mixture under your skin within 15 minutes. Remember to eat within 15 minutes after the injection.
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What Is Blood Glucose Monitoring
People use blood glucose monitoring to regularly test glucose levels in the blood.
It is an essential part of effective diabetes control. Many people with diabetes must check several times each day to plan for activities and meals, as well as scheduling doses of medication or insulin.
A person can test their blood glucose levels with a glucometer. They usually come with lancets, or tiny needles, a logbook to record results, and test strips.
Dont Wait More Than 15 Minutes To Eat After Taking A Mealtime Insulin
Rapid-acting insulins, also known as mealtime insulins, were designed to be taken right before you eat to help control your blood sugar more effectively.
As the name suggests, rapid-acting insulin starts to work rapidly in the bloodstream. If you wait too long to eat, your blood sugar can get too low. This puts you at risk for hypoglycemia.
If you cant eat a meal after youve already taken your mealtime insulin, you should carry around a carbohydrate source to avoid hypoglycemia. These include:
- glucose tablets
Calculating the right dose of mealtime insulin can be complicated at first, especially if you dont know how many carbohydrates youre going to be eating at your next meal.
Try not to panic if you realize you took too much or too little insulin.
If you think youve taken too much insulin, eat some rapidly-absorbed carbs, like juice or glucose tabs. You may also want to contact your doctor.
If youve taken a lot more than you need, like double or triple the correct dose, have a friend or family member get you to a hospital. You may need to be observed for severe low blood sugar.
If you think youve taken too little insulin or forgot to take it at all before your meal, measure your blood sugar. If it gets too high, you may need to take short or rapid-acting insulin as a corrective measure to lower your blood glucose levels. If youre at all unsure about the dose, seek advice from your doctor or diabetes care team.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Store unopened vials of human insulin, unopened disposable dosing devices and unopened human insulin pens in the refrigerator. Do not freeze human insulin and do not use human insulin that has been frozen. Opened vials of human insulin should be stored in the refrigerator but may also be stored at room temperature, in a cool place that is away from heat and direct sunlight. Store opened human insulin pens and opened dosing devices at room temperature. Check the manufacturer’s information to find out how long you may keep your pen or dosing device after the first use.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
How Can I Deal With An Insulin Reaction
People who have diabetes should carry at least 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate with them at all times in case of hypoglycemia or an insulin reaction. The following are examples of quick sources of energy that can relieve the symptoms of an insulin reaction:
- Non-diet soda: ½ to ¾ cup.
- Fruit juice: ½ cup.
- Fruit: 2 tablespoons of raisins.
- Candy: 5 Lifesavers.
- Glucose tablets: 3 tablets .
If you dont feel better 15 minutes after having a fast-acting carbohydrate, or if monitoring shows that your blood sugar level is still too low, have another 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate.
Teach your friends, work colleagues, and family members how to treat hypoglycemia, because sometimes you may need their help. Also, keep a supply of glucagon on hand. Glucagon comes in a kit with a powder and a liquid that you must mix together and then inject. It will raise your blood sugar level. If you are unconscious, or you cant eat or drink, another person can give you a shot of glucagon. Talk to your doctor to learn when and how to use glucagon.
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Not Drinking Enough Water
It’s not just what you eat, but also what you drink or don’t drink that can change the effectiveness of insulin. “Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water helps your kidneys flush out extra sugar floating around in your bloodstream,” Port explains. “It also helps medications like insulin work better, by helping to maintain good blood flow so the medicine can reach the tissues and cells where theyre needed most.” To remind yourself to drink water throughout the day, carry a refillable water bottle around with you. Use it a lot. And skip the sports and performance drinks, says Port, since they usually just give you more sugar.
Making The Switch To Insulin
Making the transition is much easier than it used to be because most patients are started on a long-acting insulin that does not need to be matched with food intake.
Insulin pens that are preloaded are replacing insulin that needs to be drawn up into a syringe. Patients may still be worried about giving themselves injections, but because the needle is so tiny the adjustment is often quick.
Toujeo and Lantus are long-acting forms of insulin that are available in a prefilled injectable pen.
There’s also a type of rapid-acting insulin, Afrezza, that can be inhaled through the mouth via an inhaler.
And a new class of medication called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors is also available now, according to Mazhari. “It works via a different pathway that’s not pancreas-dependent, offering another medical therapy option for patients with type 2 diabetes.”
The key to an easy transition to insulin is education.
“Patients need to know how to take their insulin properly since there are many formulations on the market, including short- and long-acting insulin and premixed,” Mazhari said. “Most can be started on a long-acting insulin once a day, though for some patients short-acting or mealtime insulin may be necessary as well. Insulin doses need to be further adjusted depending on blood sugar readings.”
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Example #: Formulas Commonly Used To Create Insulin Dose Recommendations
This example illustrates a method for calculating of your background/basal and bolus doses and estimated daily insulin dose when you need full insulin replacement. Bear in mind, this may be too much insulin if you are newly diagnosed or still making a lot of insulin on your own. And it may be too little if you are very resistant to the action of insulin. Talk to your provider about the best insulin dose for you as this is a general formula and may not meet your individual needs.
The initial calculation of the basal/background and bolus doses requires estimating your total daily insulin dose:
Sleeping Habits And Diabetes
According to research, insomnia affects how well you respond to insulin. People who sleep more than 9 hours each night also tend to have higher rates of diabetes. Sleep apnea can also increase someones probability of diabetes. Researchers have discovered that sleep-induced diabetes could raise the risk of other types of diabetes. More than 400 respondents reported how much sleep they get the night before.
Therefore its quite important to have a good nights rest so you have enough strength throughout the day. Below you can find a few tips to create the perfect routine.
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Too Much Insulin Or Not Enough
High morning blood glucose levels before breakfast can be a puzzle. If you haven’t eaten, why did your blood glucose level go up? There are two common reasons for high before-breakfast blood glucose levels. One relates to hormones that are released in the early part of sleep . The other is from taking too little insulin in the evening. To see which one is the cause, set your alarm to self-monitor around 2 or 3 a.m. for several nights and discuss the results with your health care provider.
Why Do I Need To Know My Blood Sugar Numbers
Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss.
As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change.
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