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How Do You Give Yourself A Shot Of Insulin?

10 Tips For A Fear Of Needles With Diabetes (+1 Bonus!)

10 Tips For A Fear Of Needles With Diabetes (+1 Bonus!)

back to Overview Tips & Tricks Type 1 It is what it is, right? When living with type 1 diabetes there's no getting around the jab of a needle. Whether it's from an insulin pen, a syringe or a pump infusion set, you have to do it. Ilka asked our team for tips on dealing with a fear of shots and needles, and here's what she found... For some, needles are no big deal. For others, each injection is a challenge to overcome – even after many years. The reasons are usually different, and no matter how necessary it is (we all know it, logically) who can criticize? Is there anything normal about stabbing yourself with a sharp metal object? I think not! We have a lot of diabetes experience here at mySugr, collectively more than 150 years under our belts. And who better to ask for tips and tricks for overcoming a fear of needles/needle phobia than a bunch of people living well with diabetes? 1. Injectors Clara: I didn’t do my own injections right away. The day where everything changed was when I watched another girl my age in the hospital do her own injection. I thought, “if she can do it, so can I!” But some time later I developed an “injection-crisis” again and used an injection device, which hides the needle completely, to help me get through it. 2. Build Confidence Marlis: I’ve been helping children with diabetes for a long time, and fear of needles is very common. It can really help if mom or dad offers to let the child inject them, or even put in a pump infusion set. When those little ones see that you trust them to poke you and that it doesn’t hurt when they put the needle in it builds a lot of confidence and trust. Another step is to watch mom or dad do an injection and see that it’s fine. I have often let the kids inject me and they were so incredibly pr Continue reading >>

How To Give Yourself Insulin

How To Give Yourself Insulin

Expert Reviewed Six Methods:Monitoring Your Blood Glucose LevelsGiving Yourself Insulin Using a SyringeUsing a Pen Device to Inject InsulinRotating Your Injection SitesUsing Other Methods to Administer InsulinFollowing Recommended Safety PrecautionsCommunity Q&A Nearly three million people in the United States use insulin to treat either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.[1]. In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to manage the carbohydrates, sugars, fats, and proteins in your diet. The use of insulin in people that suffer from type 1 diabetes is an absolute necessity in order to sustain life. Many people with type 2 diabetes often reach a point where medication, diet, and exercise, are not enough to control blood sugar levels, and begin a regimen that includes insulin administration. The correct administration of insulin takes a solid understanding of the type of insulin you are using, your method of administration, and a commitment to follow recommended safety precautions to prevent harm or injury. Consult with your doctor for a thorough demonstration before attempting to administer insulin. Continue reading >>

Injecting Insulin

Injecting Insulin

Why injections? Insulin is a lifesaving medicine for people with diabetes. But there is no such thing as an insulin pill—it can only be taken as a shot. However, today's syringes and insulin pens are much easier to use and much less painful than those in the past. Many people say that they feel almost no pain at all when they take an insulin shot. How is insulin taken? There are two ways to give yourself insulin: from vials or with pens. If you are using a vial, you will also need syringes. If you are using a pen, you will also need pen needles. Both the syringes and the pen needles can be thrown away after you use them. It is common to take more than one type of insulin. Mealtime insulin is taken before meals to help manage food-related rises in blood glucose (sugar). Long-acting insulin helps to manage blood glucose throughout the day and needs to be taken at the same time every day. Your health care provider will tell you when to take your insulin and how much to take. How to inject Your diabetes educator or other health care provider will have taught you how to take your shots. Here's a review: Choose your site. Insulin can be injected into the upper arms or upper thighs, the abdomen either above or below your waist, or the buttocks. Avoid scars, moles, and the area around the belly button. Use the same area, but change the spot where you give your shot each time to protect your skin over time and ensure that the insulin is absorbed. Prepare the insulin. Some insulins need to be mixed before you give a shot. Your provider will tell you if you are using this kind. If you use a syringe: Fill the syringe. First, draw air into the syringe equal to the amount of your insulin dose. Push that air into the vial. Then draw up the insulin into the syringe. Check for air bub Continue reading >>

How To Give A Painless Injection

How To Give A Painless Injection

If you have Type 2 diabetes, sooner or later you may require insulin injections, either temporarily (as during infections) or permanently. This is nothing to be afraid of, even though many people with long-standing Type 2 diabetes literally spend years worrying about it. I usually teach all my patients how to inject themselves at our first or second meeting, before there’s any urgency. Once they give themselves a sample injection of sterile saline (salt water), they find out how easy and painless it can be, and they are spared years of anxiety. If you’re anxious about injections, after you read this section, please ask your physician or diabetes educator to allow you to try a self-administered injection. Insulin is usually injected subcutaneously This means Into a layer of fat under the skin The regions of the body that usually contain appropriate deposits of fat are illustrated in Figure 1 Examine your body to see if you have enough fat at the illustrated sites to comfortably grab a big hunk between your thumb and first finger. Fig 1 Potential sites for subcutaneous injections. To show you how painless a shot can be, your teacher should give himself or herself a shot and leave the syringe dangling in place, illustrating that no pain is felt Your teacher should next give you a shot of saline to prove the point. Now it’s time for you to give yourself an injection, using a syringe that’s been partly filled for you with about 5 “units” of saline. 1. With your “nonshooting” hand, grab as big a chunk of skin plus underlying fat as you can hold comfortably. If you have a nice roll of fat around your waist, use this site. If not, select another site from those illustrated in Figure 1 Nearly everyone has enough subcutaneous buttocks fat to inject there without g Continue reading >>

How To Not Bruise So Easily With Injections

How To Not Bruise So Easily With Injections

One common complaint you will hear from those with diabetes is about the amount of bruising that takes place from multiple injections. While a bruise here or there seems like just something that comes along with injecting insulin, there are some things you can do to prevent frequent bruising from occurring. While there are many reasons why you may experience bruising after an injection, you can try the following techniques to help reduce your chances of bruising. Ice the site where you will be giving an injection about 30 to 60 seconds before doing so. The cold temperature on your skin will help to shrink the capillary blood vessels which are more prone to getting punctured during an injection. If you notice that you experience bruising on your stomach more frequently ensure you are not injecting the insulin too close to your belly button. A good rule of thumb, or two fingers is to place two fingers around your belly button to get a general idea of how far two inches away will be. This is the suitable area that you can inject in. It may seem contradictory but the shorter your needles are the greater the chance you have at bruising. You want to inject your insulin at a 90-degree angle and not with a slanted angle. This will allow you to get into the skin easier and more efficiently than puncturing fully like the slanted angle. Rotating injection sites is extremely important as it can lead to bruising by using repeated areas. Scar tissue can also develop when you don’t rotate sites so this makes it more difficult for insulin to be readily absorbed into the body, allow it to not be used as efficiently as it should be. Other Common Insulin Injection Issues Bruising is not the only concern that those with diabetes have when it comes to injecting insulin. In fact, there are Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes And Injecting Insulin

Gestational Diabetes And Injecting Insulin

The insulin is often contained in a pen device with a very small needle that works with a spring. The injections are not usually painful, though they may feel worse if you are anxious. Once people learn to relax, they often find that it is straightforward. Insulin is usually injected into fattier areas such as your tummy, buttocks or thighs. It is important to pick different areas to inject in rotation so that lumps don’t develop under the skin. These can stop the insulin being properly absorbed. Some women feel worried about injecting into their tummy during pregnancy and prefer to use their thighs. In late pregnancy you might find it hard to reach your buttocks so your choice might be limited by where you can reach. Steps to injecting insulin Watch this film from Diabetes UK or follow the steps below Your diabetes team will teach you how to inject insulin, but you can use these steps as a quick reminder. You will need: a pen or syringe, a clean needle, a vial of insulin, a swab to clean the skin, a sharps bin for the used needle. Step 1 Expel two units of insulin into the air to make sure the needle is completely full of insulin. Step 2 Make sure you have the correct dose. Step 3 Decide where you are going to inject. Step 4 If you find the injections painful, rub ice on the area for 20 seconds. Then dry it. Step 5 Gently pinch a fold of skin, if your team has taught you to do this (usually only if you are very slim). Step 6 Put the needle in quickly. Step 7 Inject the insulin, making sure you have pushed down the plunger or button fully. Step 8 Count to ten before pulling the needle out. Step 9 If you pinched a skin fold in Step 4, now let it go. Step 10 Dispose of the needle safely in a sharps bin. Step 11 If you have any problems at all, contact your diabetes team Continue reading >>

Insulin Pens: How To Give A Shot

Insulin Pens: How To Give A Shot

Many people with diabetes need to take insulin to keep their blood glucose in a good range. This can be scary for some people, especially for the first time. The truth is that insulin shots are not painful as people imagine because the needles are short and thin. Insulin shots are given into fatty tissue below the skin. This is called a subcutaneous (sub-kyu-TAY-nee-us) injection. The following instructions are for using most disposable insulin pens. If you are using a refillable pen, check with your doctor, diabetes educator or pharmacist on how to use. If you prefer to use a vial and syringe, refer to UPMC patient education page Insulin: How to Give a Shot. ADVANTAGES of insulin pens: Easy to use and carry Looks like a pen for writing (discreet/not easily noticed) No need to draw the insulin dose from a vial/bottle Can be used for most insulin types Doses can be easily dialed Less waste of expired insulin if not much insulin is used within time period designated (300 units in each pen)…see table end of this document To some people it may be less scary than a syringe DISADVANTAGES: Cannot mix different kinds of insulin together in a prescribed dose. Before you give the shot, you will need the following: Insulin pen Alcohol swab, or cotton ball moistened with alcohol Pen needle (be sure your doctor writes your prescription for the pen needles as well as the specific type of insulin pen) Hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly-secured lid Parts of an Insulin Pen Wash your hands. Check the drug label to be sure it is what your doctor prescribed. Check the expiration date on the pen. Do not use a drug that is past the expiration date. Also do not use if beyond number of days listed in table at end of this document once opened and in use. Remove pen cap Continue reading >>

How To Give Yourself An Insulin Injection

How To Give Yourself An Insulin Injection

Everyone with type 1 diabetes and a large number of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need to inject themselves with insulin. People starting insulin should sit down with their diabetes educator, pharmacist, physician, or other primary health care provider to learn the proper injection technique. These experts can teach you, watch you, and help you master insulin injections. Here are the basic steps for giving yourself an insulin injection: Check the type and expiry date of your insulin. (Learn how to store your insulin properly. Insulin that is not being used should be kept in the fridge. Insulin that is currently being used can stay at room temperature for up to a month on average.) Wash both your hands and the area to be injected with regular soap, then rinse off the soap residue with water. You do not need to wipe the area with alcohol, although this was recommended in the past. Choose your injection site, as recommended by your health care team. It is important to rotate your injection sites (this means regularly changing the injection spot). Your diabetes educator can give you some tips on how to do this. If you are using a type of insulin that is normally cloudy, rotate it in your hand to mix it up (if your insulin is normally clear and it appears cloudy, discard it). a. For insulin pen users: Attach a pen needle. Dial up the right number of units on the pen. b. For insulin syringe users: Draw up the right number of units of air into the syringe. Inject the air into the insulin vial. Turn the vial upside down and draw up the right number of units of insulin. Pull the needle out of the bottle. Tap the syringe so air bubbles go to the top and they can be pushed out. Ask your diabetes educator whether you should pinch your skin before inserting the needle. 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 >>

7 Tips To Stop Injection Site Bruising

7 Tips To Stop Injection Site Bruising

Integrated Diabetes Services (IDS) provides detailed advice and coaching on diabetes management from certified diabetes educators and dieticians. In 2015, Insulin Nation will be featuring a regular Q&A column from IDS that answers questions submitted from the Type 1 diabetes community. Q: Is it common to get bruises at the site of injection? What can you do about that? A: There are many reasons that an injection site might develop a bruise. Try some of these techniques to decrease the chances of bruising: Ice the injection site for about 30 to 60 seconds prior to giving the injection.The cold helps to shrink away the capillary blood vessels which may get punctured during a shot. If the bruising happens specifically in your abdomen, make sure you are not injecting too close to your belly button. sponsor Shorter needles tend to cause more bruising than longer needles. If you are on blood thinners like warfarin, aspirin, or Plavix, you may be more at risk for bruising. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Make sure you are injecting at a 90 degree angle to your skin, and not on a slant. Always use a new needle or pen cap for insulin pens. Reusing needles causes more trauma to the tissue. Switch injection sites. Repeated injection into the same area can cause bruising, as well as the development of scar tissue. Have a Question? Insulin-Quiring Minds is a free service of the clinical team at Integrated Diabetes Services LLC. Submit your questions to [email protected] All questions will be answered, and yours may be chosen to appear in Insulin Nation. About Integrated Diabetes Services Integrated Diabetes Services provides one-on-one education and glucose regulation for people who use insulin. Diabetes “coaching” services are available in-person and Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: Giving Yourself Insulin Shots

Gestational Diabetes: Giving Yourself Insulin Shots

Introduction If you have gestational diabetes and you have not been able to keep your blood sugar levels within a target range, you may need insulin shots. Taking insulin can help prevent high blood sugar. High blood sugar can lead to problems for you and your baby. Insulin is given as a shot into the fatty tissue just under the skin. In pregnant women, insulin usually is given in the upper arm or thigh. Make sure that you: Have the right dose of insulin, especially if you are giving two types of insulin in the same syringe. Practice how to give your shot. Store the insulin properly so that each dose will work well. How to prepare and give an insulin shot Your doctor or certified diabetes educator (CDE) will help you learn to prepare and give yourself insulin shots. Here are some simple steps to help you learn how to do it. To get ready to give an insulin shot, follow these steps: Wash your hands with soap and running water. Dry them thoroughly. Gather your supplies. Most people keep their supplies in a bag or kit so they can carry the supplies with them wherever they go. If you are using an insulin pen, you will need a needle that works with your pen. If the pen is reusable, you may need an insulin cartridge. You may also need an alcohol swab. Check the insulin bottle or cartridge. When you use an insulin bottle for the first time, write the date on the bottle. Insulin stored at room temperature will last for about a month. Read and follow all instructions on the label, including how to store the insulin and how long the insulin will last. Check that a disposable pen's insulin has not expired. This date is usually printed on the pen's label. Your preparation will depend on whether you are giving one type of insulin or mixing two types of insulin. If you are using an in 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 >>

Diabetes: Giving Yourself An Insulin Shot

Diabetes: Giving Yourself An Insulin Shot

Introduction Insulin is used for people who have type 1 diabetes. It's also used if you have type 2 diabetes and other medicines are not controlling your blood sugar. If you have gestational diabetes, you may need to take insulin if diet and exercise have not helped to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. With little or no insulin, sugar (glucose) in the blood can't enter your cells to be used for energy. This causes the sugar in your blood to rise to a level that's not safe. When your blood sugar rises past about 180 mg/dL, your kidneys start to release sugar into the urine. This can make you dehydrated. If that happens, your kidneys make less urine, which means your body can't get rid of extra sugar. This is when blood sugar levels rise. Taking insulin can prevent symptoms of high blood sugar. It can also help to prevent emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis (in type 1 diabetes) and hyperosmolar coma (in type 2 diabetes). Insulin can help lower blood sugar too. This can prevent serious and permanent health problems from long-term high blood sugar. Remember these key tips for giving insulin shots: Make sure you have the right dose of insulin, especially if you are giving two types of insulin in the same syringe. Practice how to give your shot. Store the insulin properly so that each dose will work the way it should. Continue reading >>

A Guide To Injecting For Your Child With Diabetes

A Guide To Injecting For Your Child With Diabetes

4 Diabetes. The basics. – Why does my child need insulin? – How did my child get diabetes? – Controlling diabetes 7 Emotional issues. Coming to terms with the news. 8 Getting started. Explaining diabetes to your child. 10 Monitoring blood sugar. Knowing where your child stands. 12 Injecting. It’s easier than you think. – Using a pen – Using a syringe – Mixing insulin in a syringe 16 Injecting correctly. The best sites, the best way. 18 Injecting correctly. Ensuring the right technique. 20 Preventing lipos. Using sites correctly. 22 Sharp thinking. The importance of using new needles. 24 Useful information. Facts, resources, help. Contents Very Important Points! This booklet contains lots of important information about diabetes. Look out for the VIP icon.VIP! Caring for children with diabetes 3 You’re reading this booklet because your child needs to start insulin injections. You may be anxious or shocked at your child’s diagnosis. Don’t worry. We’re in this together. With diabetes properly managed, your child can lead a perfectly normal life. Around 650,000 people in Canada inject to manage their diabetes1. Children can usually do their testing and injections themselves once they feel ready. Injecting isn’t difficult. It’s easy to learn. It’s quick and more comfortable than you would think. It’s just about getting into a good, regular routine. This simple guide explains how to get started. Along with advice from your child’s Doctor or Diabetes Educator, this booklet will help. We’re in this together. 4 Caring for children with diabetes Why does my child need insulin? Your child has diabetes because their pancreas, an organ close to their stomach, doesnâ Continue reading >>

Choosing Best Body Site For An Insulin Shot

Choosing Best Body Site For An Insulin Shot

In the past, doctors and nurses told patients to rotate their insulin shots to different sites on their bodies. Now we know that it's best to take insulin shots in the part of the body that matches the insulin action a person wants. See Illustration: Sites for Injecting Insulin Injection Areas and Action Insulin enters the bloodstream faster from some areas of the body than from others. Where you take your shot can affect your blood sugar levels. Generally, insulin enters the blood: Fastest from the abdomen (stomach area). A little slower from the arms. Even more slowly from the legs. Slowest from the buttocks. Exercising can also speed up the amount of time it takes for the insulin to enter your blood. You can figure out where to take your shot based on how quickly or slowly you want the insulin to enter your bloodstream. For example, if you're going to be exercising, such as walking or doing any kind of lifting, you probably don't want to take your shot in your leg or arm. Exercising those areas quickens the amount of time it takes for the insulin to get into your blood stream. This can cause your blood sugar to drop suddenly during or right after you exercise. If you plan to eat right after taking your shot, you might use a site on your stomach. That way the insulin will be available faster to handle the rise in your blood sugar after the meal. Rotate Sites in the Same Area Follow these guidelines when you choose a site to take your shot. Try to be consistent in where you take your shots. Always take your shot of fast-acting insulin in the stomach or arm. Take slower-acting insulin in the leg or buttocks. Try to avoid using the exact spot you used for your last shot. For example, space your next shot just an inch or so from your last previous shot. If you use the sam Continue reading >>

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