diabetestalk.net

Where Do You Inject Insulin Shots?

Diabetes: How To Use Insulin

Diabetes: How To Use Insulin

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. What is insulin, and why do I need it? Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar (also called glucose) 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 box below lists the different types of insulin.) The goal in treating diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level within a normal range. Do I need to monitor my blood sugar level? Yes. You need to check your blood sugar level regularly using a blood glucose monitor. Your doctor or the office staff can teach you how to use the monitor. You'll need to write down each measurement and show this record to your doctor, so your doctor can tell you how much insulin to take. How often will I need to take insulin? Your doctor will give you a schedule. Most people with diabetes need at least 2 insulin shots a day. Some people need 3 or 4 shots for good blood sugar control. When should I take insulin? If you take Regular insulin or a longer-acting insulin, you should generally take it 15 to 30 minutes before a meal. If you take insulin lispro (brand name: Humalog), which works very quickly, you should generally take it less than 15 minutes before you eat. What is different Continue reading >>

The Dos And Don'ts Of Insulin Injections

The Dos And Don'ts Of Insulin Injections

When diet, exercise, and oral medications aren’t enough to manage type 2 diabetes, it may be time for insulin. The most important aspect of insulin therapy is using it exactly as prescribed. Still, remembering all the little details can be tricky, and certain mistakes are common. By following these dos and don’ts, you can avoid medication mishaps and keep insulin working as it should. DO: Rotate the insertion site (while keeping the body part consistent). “Insulin is absorbed at different speeds depending on where you inject it, so it’s best to consistently use the same part of the body for each of your daily injections,” says Doreen Riccelli, BSN, director of education at Lake Pointe Medical Center in Rowlett, Texas. “For example, don’t inject yourself in the abdomen on Saturday and in the thigh on Sunday,” she says. “If you choose the thigh for your evening injection, then use the thigh for all of your evening injections.” That said, within the specific body area, it’s important to move each injection site at least one finger’s width from the previous injection site to avoid the creation of hard lumps or extra fat deposits, which could change the way insulin is absorbed. DON’T: Store insulin incorrectly. Insulin can generally be stored at room temperature (59 to 86° F), either opened or unopened, for one month. When kept in the refrigerator, unopened bottles last until the expiration date printed on the bottle. Opened bottles stored in the refrigerator should be used or discarded after a month. Never store insulin in direct sunlight, in the freezer, or near heating or air conditioning vents, ovens, or radiators. It should also not be left in a very warm or cold car. Store it in an insulated case if needed. DO: Work closely with your doctor. Continue reading >>

Best Insulin Injection Sites: Absorption Time And Rotation

Best Insulin Injection Sites: Absorption Time And Rotation

Insulin is a hormone that helps manage diabetes when it is injected into the body. It can't be taken as a pill or oral medication. This is because the enzymes in the stomach will break down the insulin before it reaches the bloodstream. Insulin injections are one of many ways to treat and manage diabetes. Others include dietary and lifestyle changes, and oral medications. For people who require insulin injections, there are different types of insulin available. It is important to understand and follow the instructions that the doctor provides about how and where to inject insulin. Common injection sites Insulin is injected into the layer of fat directly under this skin, known as subcutaneous tissue. It is injected with a small needle or a device that looks like a pen. There are several different sites where insulin can be injected, including: Abdomen The abdomen is a common site for insulin injection that many people with diabetes choose to use. To give an injection into the abdomen, take a pinch of the fatty tissue from either side between the waist and the hipbones. It should be about 2 inches away from the belly button. This site is easy to access and some people report that it causes less discomfort than other sites. Upper Arms The upper arm is another site where insulin injections can be given. The needle should be placed into the back of the arm (tricep area), about halfway between the elbow and the shoulder. The main disadvantage of this site is that it is very difficult to use for self-administration and may require somebody else to do it. It may be more comfortable to inject into the non-dominant arm. This means injecting into the left arm of a right-handed person or the right arm of a left-handed person. Thighs The thigh is also a very easy area for self-injec Continue reading >>

How To Give An Insulin Injection

How To Give An Insulin Injection

3. Check the insulin bottle to make sure it hasn't expired. 4. Remove the lid from the insulin bottle. 5. Wipe the rubber top of the bottle with an alcohol swab. Pull air into the syringe by pulling back on the plunger until its black tip is even with the line showing the dose you'll need. Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor. Push the needle through the rubber top of the bottle. Push the plunger so that the air goes from the syringe into the bottle. Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor. Turn the insulin bottle and syringe upside down. To pull insulin into the syringe, slowly pull back on the plunger until the top of its black tip is even with the line showing your dose. The most common places to inject insulin are the abdomen (belly), the back of the upper arms, the upper buttocks, and the outer thighs. Choose a place to make the injection, and wipe the skin with an alcohol swab. Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor. Gently pinch the skin. Hold the syringe at a 90-degree angle to the skin, and push the needle all the way in. Let go of the pinched skin, and slowly push the plunger to inject all of the insulin. Wait about 5 seconds before pulling out the needle. Don't just put the used syringe in the trash. Instead, put it in a plastic or metal container with a tight lid. When the container is full, be sure the lid is closed and put it in the trash. Note: This information is for educational purposes only. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, talk with your doctor. Continue reading >>

How To Give An Insulin Injection

How To Give An Insulin Injection

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: What do I need to know about insulin syringes? Insulin syringes come in different sizes depending on the dose of insulin you need. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist will help you find the right size syringe. Use the correct size insulin syringe to make sure you get the right dose of insulin. Where do I inject insulin? You can inject insulin into your abdomen, upper arm, buttocks, hip, and the front or side of the thigh. Insulin works fastest when it is injected into the abdomen. Do not inject insulin into areas where you have a wound or bruising. Insulin injected into wounds or bruises may not get into your body correctly. Use a different area within the site each time you inject insulin. For example, inject insulin into different areas in your abdomen. Insulin injected into the same area can cause lumps, swelling, or thickened skin. How do I inject the insulin with a syringe? Clean the skin where you will inject the insulin. You can use an alcohol pad or a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Grab a fold of your skin. Gently pinch the skin and fat between your thumb and first finger. Insert the needle straight into your skin. Do not hold the syringe at an angle. Make sure the needle is all the way into the skin. Let go of the pinched tissue. Push down on the plunger to inject the insulin. Press on the plunger until the insulin is gone. Keep the needle in place for 5 seconds after you inject the insulin. Pull out the needle. Press on your injection site for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not rub. This will keep insulin from leaking out. Throw away your used insulin syringe as directed. Do not recap the syringe before you throw it away. How can I decrease pain when I inject insulin? Inject insulin at room temperature. If the insulin has been stored in the refr Continue reading >>

Choosing An Injection Site

Choosing An Injection Site

Do not take Lantus® during episodes of low blood sugar or if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®. Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes with others. Do NOT reuse needles. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have liver or kidney problems, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed. Heart failure can occur if you are taking insulin together with certain medicines called TZDs (thiazolidinediones), even if you have never had heart failure or other heart problems. If you already have heart failure, it may get worse while you take TZDs with Lantus®. Your treatment with TZDs and Lantus® may need to be changed or stopped by your doctor if you have new or worsening heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have any new or worsening symptoms of heart failure, including: Sudden weight gain Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including OTC medicines, vitamins, and supplements, including herbal supplements. Lantus® should be taken once a day at the same time every day. Test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision. Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Always make sure you have the correct insulin before each injection. While using Lantus®, do not drive or operate heavy machinery until Continue reading >>

How To Improve The Insulin Injection Experience

How To Improve The Insulin Injection Experience

If you have type 1 diabetes, or if you have type 2 and have recently begun injecting insulin, you may have a bit of trouble getting used to the process of preparing and administering your own insulin shots. Andrea Penney, RN, CDE, of the Joslin Diabetes Center, says that injection technique is important to master not only for accurate dosing, but for comfort, too. "With proper practice and good technique, you can avoid pain during an injection," she states. Penney sat down with us recently to answer some common questions about insulin injection. If after reading and practicing insulin injections you still find you’re having trouble, Penney suggests seeing a Certified Diabetes Educator for more assistance. Q: How do I decide where to inject? A: People often select injection sites based on many factors: accessibility, presence of fatty tissue, and rate of insulin absorption (which will be discussed shortly). As a result, popular sites for injection include the stomach, outer thigh, the back of the arm (between the shoulder and the elbow), or the upper outside "wallet" area of the buttock (but not into the lower buttock area). Q: Once I decide on a location for an injection, how do I pick the right "spot"? A: Here are some easy guidelines: -Stomach If you’re going to inject into the stomach, stay at least two inches away from the bellybutton and/or any scars you may already have when using the abdomen for injections. -Thigh For an injection in your thigh, inject at least four inches or about one hand’s width above the knee and at least four inches down from the top of the leg. Do not inject insulin into your inner thigh because of the large number of blood vessels and nerves in this area. - Arm The area between the shoulder and elbow on the outside of the arm is usua Continue reading >>

Insulin Injection Sites: Where And How To Inject

Insulin Injection Sites: Where And How To Inject

Insulin is a hormone that helps cells use glucose (sugar) for energy. It works as a “key,” allowing the sugar to go from the blood and into the cell. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin correctly, which can lead to the pancreas not being able to produce enough — or any, depending on the progression of the disease —insulin to meet your body’s needs. Diabetes is normally managed with diet and exercise, with medications, including insulin, added as needed. If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin is required for life. This may seem difficult at first, but you can learn to successfully administer insulin with the support of your healthcare team, determination, and a little practice. There are different ways to take insulin, including syringes, insulin pens, insulin pumps, and jet injectors. Your doctor will help you decide which technique is best for you. Syringes remain a common method of insulin delivery. They’re the least expensive option, and most insurance companies cover them. Syringes Syringes vary by the amount of insulin they hold and the size of the needle. They’re made of plastic and should be discarded after one use. Traditionally, needles used in insulin therapy were 12.7 millimeters (mm) in length. Recent research shows that smaller 8 mm, 6 mm, and 4 mm needles are just as effective, regardless of body mass. This means insulin injection is less painful than it was in the past. Insulin is injected subcutaneously, which means into the fat layer under the skin. In this type of injection, a short needle is used to inject insulin into the fatty layer between the skin and the muscle. Insulin should be injected into the fatty tissue just below your skin. If you inject the insulin deeper int Continue reading >>

Giving Yourself An Insulin Shot For Diabetes

Giving Yourself An Insulin Shot For Diabetes

For those with diabetes, an insulin shot delivers medicine into the subcutaneous tissue -- the tissue between your skin and muscle. Subcutaneous tissue (also called "sub Q" tissue) is found throughout your body. Please follow these steps when using an insulin syringe. Note: these instructions are not for patients using an insulin pen or a non-needle injection system. Select a clean, dry work area, and gather the following insulin supplies: Bottle of insulin Sterile insulin syringe (needle attached) with wrapper removed Two alcohol wipes (or cotton balls and a bottle of rubbing alcohol) One container for used equipment (such as a hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly secured lid or a commercial "sharps" container) Wash hands with soap and warm water and dry them with a clean towel. Remove the plastic cap from the insulin bottle. Roll the bottle of insulin between your hands two to three times to mix the insulin. Do not shake the bottle, as air bubbles can form and affect the amount of insulin withdrawn. Wipe off the rubber part on the top of the insulin bottle with an alcohol pad or cotton ball dampened with alcohol. Set the insulin bottle nearby on a flat surface. Remove the cap from the needle. If you've been prescribed two types of insulin to be taken at once (mixed dose), skip to the instructions in the next section. Draw the required number of units of air into the syringe by pulling the plunger back. You need to draw the same amount of air into the syringe as insulin you need to inject. Always measure from the top of the plunger. Insert the needle into the rubber stopper of the insulin bottle. Push the plunger down to inject air into the bottle (this allows the insulin to be drawn more easily). Leave the needle in the bottle. Turn the bottle an Continue reading >>

How To Give Insulin Shots

How To Give Insulin Shots

Expert Reviewed Three Parts:Giving an Insulin Injection with a SyringeGiving an Insulin Injection with a PenUnderstanding the Need for InsulinCommunity Q&A Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas gland in order to shuttle glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and into cells, which use it to produce energy. People with diabetes either can't produce any insulin at all (type 1) or their bodies can't produce enough (type 2),[1] so they need to inject synthetic forms of the hormone on a daily basis — as well as manage their diet and exercise. If you are a diabetic or have a child with diabetes and need insulin on a regular basis, you need to learn how to inject it properly. Make sure to consult with your doctor for a demonstration before you attempt to give an injection and ask her about proper dosage and your options for insulin delivery. Continue reading >>

Giving An Insulin Injection

Giving An Insulin Injection

Your health care provider or a certified diabetes educator (CDE) will teach you all of these steps, watch you practice, and answer your questions. You may take notes to remember the details. Know the name and dose of each medicine to give. The type of insulin should match the type of syringe: Standard insulin contains 100 units in 1 mL. This is also called U-100 insulin. Most insulin syringes are marked for giving you U-100 insulin. Every notch on a standard 1 mL insulin syringe is 1 unit of insulin. More concentrated insulins are now available. These include U-500 and U-300. Because U-500 syringes may be difficult to find, your provider may give you instructions for using U-500 insulin with U-100 syringes. Insulin syringes or concentrated insulin are now widely available. DO NOT mix or dilute their concentrated insulin with any other insulin. Some types of insulin can be mixed with each other in one syringe, but many cannot be mixed. Check with your provider or pharmacist about this. Other general tips: Always use the same brands and types of supplies. DO NOT use expired insulin. Insulin should be given at room temperature. If you had it in the refrigerator or cooler bag, take it out 30 minutes before the injection. Once you have started using a vial of insulin, it can be kept at room temperature for a month. Gather your supplies: insulin, needles, syringes, alcohol wipes, and a container for used needles and syringes. To fill a syringe with one type of insulin: Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well. Check the insulin bottle label. Make sure it is the right insulin. Make sure it is not expired. The insulin should not have any clumps on the sides of the bottle. If it does, throw it out and get another bottle. Intermediate-acting insulin (N or NPH) is cloudy Continue reading >>

How To Give Your Loved One An Insulin Injection

How To Give Your Loved One An Insulin Injection

We all grew up with some dread about those occasional visits to the doctor — and usually it was that fear of getting a shot. Now that you’re the one commissioned to give the shot, we know you may have reservations and a heightened fear at pricking your loved one. Remember though, that insulin injections are subcutaneous, meaning the area between the skin and the muscle, so the needles are usually smaller and shorter than you’re imagining. We also know that you want it to be as pain-free as possible, so it’s important to keep in mind that confidence (while gained with practice) may also be faked in order to help put your loved one at ease. If you are cringing every time you give a shot, this will also increase anxiety and fear in the person receiving the injection. So try to relax! Talking to your loved one and asking them questions may also help reduce anxiety. This communication (that isn’t about the injection) helps to distract the person receiving it. Before you both know it, it’ll all be over for both of you. Speed is another key way to decrease discomfort. And the more you do it, the faster you’ll become. You aren’t going to be a pro at the start, so don’t expect to be. With a little bit of practice though, you’ll be able to administer insulin in your sleep (although we don’t recommend this). Note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. For specific guidance on giving an insulin injection, please talk with your doctor. CHECK YOUR INSULIN Insulin has an expiration date, so be mindful of this and don’t use expired insulin. Seriously — just toss it. Insulin also can’t be stored in the freezer, or left in direct sunlight. If you were keeping it cool in a bag or the refrigerator, give it time (30 minutes) Continue reading >>

8 Ways To Take Insulin

8 Ways To Take Insulin

How to take insulin Need insulin? While the drug itself may be old—nearly 90 years to be exact—there’s lots of new things happening when it comes to ways to take it. From the old-fashioned needle and syringe to injector pens to pumps, you’ve got choices to make. There’s even a plethora of devices that can help you inject if you have poor vision or mobility issues. Check out these eight options and talk with your certified diabetes educator to determine which insulin delivery system or injection aids are right for you. Needle and syringe With this type of delivery system, you insert a needle into a vial, draw up the appropriate amount of insulin, and then inject into the subcutaneous space—the tissue just under your skin. Here are 5 types of insulin and 9 factors that affect how insulin works. Even though there are other options, needles and syringes remain the most common way to take insulin. Some of the new insulin injection methods, such as the insulin pen, carry only a preset amount of insulin. Thinner needles and other advancements, such as syringe magnifiers, have made syringes easier to use. Syringe magnifier Have poor vision? You’re not alone. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years. Needle guides can help you keep the syringe or pen steady at the desired location and at the correct angle both for drawing up insulin out of the vial and injecting. Some needle guides also come with magnifiers, which help by enlarging the numbers and allowing you to read the fine print and dosages on the syringe. Syringe-filling device These devices are another example of innovations designed to help make insulin needles more palatable. Syringe-filling devices allow a person Continue reading >>

Injection 101: How To Properly Take Insulin

Injection 101: How To Properly Take Insulin

Tips on how to properly administer insulin and considerations to keep in mind when taking the medicine. Probably the most well-known fact about diabetes is that those living with the disease frequently have to prick their fingers and inject themselves with insulin to maintain healthy glucose levels. For those that have been diagnosed with diabetes, they know that injecting insulin can be a daily task that, if not done correctly, can lead to more problems than solutions. Insulin is not the only injectable medication that exists for diabetes patients; there are other medications, known as GLP-1, that are also injected. The use of these medications is increasingly common, and therefore it is extremely important to be aware of proper injection techniques in order to reduce the risk of problems associated with medication injection. Injecting insulin can be done with a vial and syringe or an insulin pen. Studies have shown that insulin pens make the injection process easier for many patients.[1] Needle length is an important factor to consider. New clinical evidence recommends using shorter needles that are 4 mm long.[2] Similarly, the needle gauge is a factor that needs contemplation. Ideally, a short, thin needle works best for most individuals. Insulin and other diabetes medicines are injected subcutaneously, or just below the skin. Research has shown that despite its short length, the 4 mm needle is long enough to adequately reach under the skin.[2] For patients that are heavier, longer needle length may be required. Anyone living with diabetes knows that the whole insulin process is not a pain-free endeavor, which is another reason why thinner and shorter needles are recommended. These compact needles are less painful than traditional needles. Your own health care team w Continue reading >>

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Injecting Insulin…

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Injecting Insulin…

But Didn’t Know to Ask Just take your shot. What could be easier, right? Well, you’d be surprised how many errors are made by “veteran” insulin users. It turns out there’s nothing basic about the basics of insulin injections. However, you can improve your technique. This article takes a look at the nitty-gritty details behind successful insulin delivery, why they matter, and how to avoid common pitfalls. The gear Realistically, there are two delivery systems when it comes to injecting insulin: syringes and pens. Yes, there are pumps, but that’s a whole other subject. And yes, there are jet injectors, but they are not widely used. Syringes. The first-ever human insulin shot was delivered by syringe in 1922, and here in the United States, more than half of all insulin is still delivered via syringe. Syringes used to be made of glass, had to be sterilized between uses, and had long, thick, steel surgical needles that could be resharpened on a kitchen whetstone. (No kidding.) But syringes have come a long way since then. Syringes are now disposable, the barrels are made of plastic, and the needles are thin, high-tech, multi-beveled, and coated with lubricants to make them enter the skin smoothly. (Bevels are the slanted surfaces on a needle that create a sharp point.) In the old days, the needle and the syringe were separate components. Nowadays most insulin syringes come with the needle attached. People who use syringes almost always purchase insulin in vials. Vials are glass bottles that generally hold 1,000 units of insulin. Pens. Insulin pens date from the mid-1980s, and while syringes still predominate in the United States, much of the rest of the world has traded in syringes for insulin pens. Pens currently come in two varieties: disposable, prefilled pens Continue reading >>

More in diabetes