Why It Matters Where You Inject Your Insulin
Insulin is designed to be injected into body fat also known as subcutaneous tissue.
The rate at which your insulin is absorbed is largely based on the assumption that its being injected into fat, rather than muscle.
When a pharmaceutical company tells you that the onset of your Novolog or Humalog insulin is 15 minutes, for example, that is based on when it is injected into body fat. The peak of its efficacy and the duration of it staying in your bloodstream are also dependent on it being injected into body fat not muscle.
Can I Reuse My Syringe
If you use your needle or syringe multiple times, there are the following risks:
- The tip of the needle becomes blunt after just one use, the sliding layer on the tip may become worn and the tip of the needle may be deformed:
- injections hurt more.
- very small skin lesions or bruising may occur.
How To Give Insulin In The Stomach With An Insulin Pen Or Syringe
Injecting insulin into the stomach is easy, and the same method can be used whether you are using a syringe or an insulin pen.
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How Can I Decrease Pain When I Inject Insulin
- Inject insulin at room temperature. If the insulin has been stored in the refrigerator, remove it 30 minutes before you inject it.
- Remove all air bubbles from the syringe before the injection.
- If you clean your skin with an alcohol pad, wait until it has dried before you inject insulin.
- Relax the muscles at the injection site.
- Do not change the direction of the needle during insertion or removal.
Select And Clean The Injection Site
Choose an injection site for your insulin shot.
Do not inject near joints, the groin area, navel, the middle of the abdomen, or near scars.
Clean the injection site in a circular motion with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol. Leave the alcohol wipe or cotton ball nearby.
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How Does Insulin Work
Receiving the diagnosis of diabetes in the life of any person is a life-changing moment. Suddenly life revolves only around your blood sugar levels. To maintain these blood glucose levels, one must maintain a healthy lifestyle and insulin.
If you have type 1 diabetes youre insulin-dependent. Most of the time you use long-acting insulin and rapid-acting insulin. You must be very careful with your dosages. Although there are different insulin pumps and pens available on market it can be a bit difficult to make sure you take your insulin injection on time and make sure the insulin dose is correct.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. When you eat something, insulin gets the sugar from carbohydrates in your food. This way your body gets the energy it needs or stores energy for later. It regulates your blood sugar levels, makes sure it doesn’t go too high or too low . Without a working pancreas, your body starts using fat to produce energy but also produces keto acids. When these keto acid levels are too high you can get into diabetic ketoacidosis.
Rotate Your Injection Sites To Avoid Lumpy Skin
If you tend to inject in the same places you may find that your flesh becomes less flexible than usual. This is called lumpy skin and means the insulin wont be absorbed as well.
Avoid having a favourite part of that area to inject into as this greatly increases the risk of lumpy skin. If this is the case, try injecting into surrounding areas, picking a new spot each time.
Each of the main four areas should give a give a good area of flesh to inject into. Using different areas of the body to inject into is insulin injection site rotation
However, you may find you have a favourite part of that area to inject into. If this is the case, try injecting into surrounding areas, picking a new spot each time.
One way to pick a non-lumpy area is to feel or squeeze the skin before injecting insulin If it doesnt feel as supple as it could be, pick a different spot to inject into.
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Tips For Choosing Insulin Injection Sites
|Change injection sites with every injection. Inject at least one finger-width away from your previous injection site. If you are having 2 or more injections a day, choose a different site for your morning and afternoon doses. When injecting 2 different insulins, inject them in different sites. Use a new needle for every injection.||Don’t inject deep into the muscle. Insulin should only be injected into the fatty layer under your skin. Don’t inject into fatty lumps. Don’t inject on damaged or scarred skin. Don’t move daily from one part of your body to another, such as from your tummy area to your thigh. Instead move within the area being used.|
General Tips For Administering An Insulin Shot
- Allow the insulin to come to room temperature before injecting, to avoid pain.
- Always use a new syringe and needle or pen needle.
- Always remove the needle before storing your insulin pen.
- Keep your insulin away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store according to the manufacturers recommendations.
- Check your insulin vial for particles or anything that doesnt look right.
- Dispose of used needles safely.
- Create a plan for rotating injection sites.
- Inject close to your belly button, near bony areas, or where you have a mole, scar, or wound.
- Use the same exact spot repeatedly to inject insulin.
- Let yourself run out of supplies. Always bring extra when traveling.
- Try to use expired insulin, as it may not work effectively.
- Forget to wear a medic alert ID in case you have a hypoglycemic event and cant speak for yourself.
- Forget to carry a rapid source of glucose.
Since insulin is a glucose-lowering medication, you should always be prepared in the event you need to treat a low blood sugar by carrying a rapid acting source of glucose with you, like a juice box, glucose tabs, or hard candy.
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How To Inject Insulin
Before injecting insulin, be sure to check its quality. If it was refrigerated, allow your insulin to come to room temperature. If the insulin is cloudy, mix the contents by rolling the vial between your hands for a few seconds. Be careful not to shake the vial. Short-acting insulin that isnt mixed with other insulin shouldnt be cloudy. Dont use insulin that is grainy, thickened, or discolored.
Follow these steps for safe and proper injection:
What Is The Best Injection Site For Insulin
The best injection site for insulin is the abdomen. Injecting insulin on the stomach will ensure the insulin reaches your bloodstream quickly since there is no fatty tissue in that area to slow down absorption. You can also inject insulin in your thigh or buttocks, but these areas of the body may not absorb as quickly as the stomach or arm. However, injecting insulin in these areas can give you a sense of comfort since you’ll be able to see the needle before it goes into your skin. If you feel more comfortable with a particular site, then stick with that one. It’s important to inject into all areas of your body, but be aware that injections in some sites may require more force and pressure than others.
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How Do I Take Insulin
Insulin is normally injected under the skin with a very small needle. It can also be taken with an insulin pen. Your doctor will teach you exactly how to inject insulin, but here are the basics:
Wash your hands.
Take the plastic cover off the insulin bottle and wipe the top of the bottle with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Pull back the plunger of the syringe, drawing air into the syringe equal to the dose of insulin that you are taking . Put the syringe needle through the rubber top of the insulin bottle. Inject air into the bottle by pushing the syringe plunger forward. Turn the bottle upside down.
Make sure that the tip of the needle is in the insulin. Pull back on the syringe plunger to draw the correct dose of insulin into the syringe .
Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe before you take the needle out of the insulin bottle. If there are air bubbles, hold the syringe and the bottle straight up, tap the syringe with your finger and let the air bubbles float to the top. Push on the plunger of the syringe to move the air bubbles back into the insulin bottle. Then withdraw the correct insulin dose by pulling back on the plunger.
Clean your skin with cotton dipped in alcohol . Grab a fold of skin and inject the insulin under the skin at a 90-degree angle . PICTURE 2.
Where Should You Not Inject Insulin
Avoid sites that you plan on exercising as this can increase the risk of hypoglycemia due to increased absorption. Avoid injecting into areas of your skin, moles, or scar tissue, as these can also affect insulin absorption. If you develop lumps and bumps at injection sites, avoid the area of the bump for several months because that area will absorb insulin differently and this can affect your blood sugar levels.
Also, try to avoid places that you can’t easily reach or places where your skin doesn’t allow you to be pricked by a needle.
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What Do I Do If I Miss A Dose Of Ozempic
If you miss your dose of Ozempic , you can administer it as soon as possible within 3 days after the missed dose. After this, you can go back to your regular dosing schedule of once per week.
If there are less than 3 days until your next scheduled dose, donât take your missed dose. Take your next scheduled weekly dose and return back to your regularly scheduled weekly dose!
Where Do I Inject Insulin
Insulin is injected just under the skin. The easiest way to do this is to pinch up a fold of skin using your thumb and forefinger if you are injecting into your stomach or thigh area, or use your knee to create a pinched up area if you are injecting into your upper, outer arm. More detailed instructions are below. Your healthcare professional can also show you how to do it.
Insulin is injected into the less sensitive layer of fatty tissue just under the skin, so it should not hurt too much, but may sting or burn a little. You are not injecting insulin into a muscle or vein.
To keep your skin from thickening or getting lumpy, try not to inject in the exact same spot. Instead, rotate injection places.
Do not share needles, pens, or syringes with others. Do NOT reuse needles.
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Dont Wait More Than 15 Minutes To Eat After Taking A Mealtime Insulin
Rapid-acting insulins were designed to be taken right before you eat to help you 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 actually end up getting too low. This puts you at risk for hypoglycemia.
If, for some reason, you cant eat a meal after youve already taken your mealtime insulin, you should carry around glucose tablets, juice, non-diet soda, raisins, or hard candies to avoid hypoglycemia.
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. Also, you may want to call your doctor.
If youve taken a lot more than you need , 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 you completely forgot to take it at all before your meal, measure your blood sugar. If it gets too high, you may need to take a 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.
When Should I Take Insulin
You and your doctor should discuss when and how you will take your insulin. Each persons treatment is different. Some people who use regular insulin take it 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Some people who use rapid-acting insulin take it just before they eat.
Types of insulin:
- Rapid-acting insulin starts working in about 15 minutes. It lasts for 3 to 5 hours.
- Short-acting insulin starts working in 30 to 60 minutes and lasts 5 to 8 hours.
- Intermediate-acting insulin starts working in 1 to 3 hours and lasts 12 to 16 hours.
- Long-acting insulin starts working in about 1 hour and lasts 20 to 26 hours.
- Premixed insulin is a combination of 2 types of insulin .
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Warnings Of Ozempic And Trulicity
Because both medications are in the same drug class, warnings and precautions are mostly the same. You will receive a medication guide any time you fill a prescription for Ozempic or Trulicity, which goes over side effects and warnings.
There is a boxed warning for Ozempic and Trulicity, which is a serious warning required by the FDA. In rodents, Ozempic or Trulicity causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including MTC . It is not known whether this is caused in humans. Also, patients with a history of MTC or with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should not take Ozempic or Trulicity.
Other warnings include:
Myths About Insulin Therapy
According to the American Diabetes Association , several common myths surround the use of insulin therapy for people with type 2 diabetes.
People who take insulin may sometimes hear others make the following statements, but they have no basis in research or fact:
- Insulin can cure diabetes. There is, at present, no cure for diabetes. However, insulin can help a person control its effects.
- It will cause disruption in your life. While a course of insulin takes some getting used to, a person can enjoy a full and active life, as long as they stick to their insulin schedule.
- Insulin injections cause pain. Many people have a phobia of needles. However, modern insulin pens cause almost no pain. People using pumps can avoid injections altogether.
- Insulin will increase the frequency of severe hypoglycemia. While insulin can increase the risk of hypoglycemia, certain insulins can limit a sudden drop in blood sugar.
- Insulin causes weight gain for as long as a person uses it. Insulin might increase weight at first, but this is not an ongoing effect. The body first needs to adapt to insulin supplementation.
- The injection site is not important. Where on the body a person inserts a needle or pen determines the speed at which insulin has an effect. This can be vital after meals when quick drops in blood glucose levels reduce the impact of the food.
- Insulin is addictive. Insulin is not an addictive drug and is vital for any person whose pancreas does not produce insulin.
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Do I Need To Pinch My Skin
A 4 mm needle can be injected at 90 degrees without a pinch or skin fold in most people with diabetes. It is recommended that skin on your stomach should only be pinched and the needle injected into the skin fold at a 90 degree angle in the following groups of people:
- very young children aged 6 years old or younger
- very slim adults using the 4 mm needle
- children using a 5 mm pen needle
- adults using a 8 mm needle.
Needles that are 12.7 mm long should be inserted at a 45 degree angle.