The most widely used form of treatment for diabetes is insulin injection. This form of medical care is performed by injecting insulin into the skin, whereby it works immediately in lessening the levels of blood sugar and maintain it on a normal condition. Insulin injections are given as the first line of treatment to those who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes.
How important is insulin for individuals with diabetes?
As what you’ve known already, insulin is a type of hormone that the body produces, specifically by the pancreas. This hormone helps in converting sugar to energy, which also controls the levels of blood glucose present in the human body. This hormone is necessary, as it manages the blood sugar levels, thereby preventing any surge or abnormal increase in its status.
Today, without enough insulin injections, any individual who has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus will have a hard time surviving. That is why it becomes a necessity and already a part of many diabetic patients’ routine in their daily living. Without this treatment form, diabetes can complicate, which can open doors for different health complications, illnesses, diseases, and infections.
What are the methods used in insulin injections?
The most common approach in administering an insulin injection is by using syringes. However, there are other ways to consider. Right after your diagnosis, your healthcare professional will let you choose which type of insulin treatment method suits you and is comfortable to utilize. To better give you an explanation of these methods, consider the following list.
- Use of syringes – As mentioned, using syringes is the most common. Aside from being used in any medical treatment or therapy, it is by far the easiest to use. A syringe contains a needle, which can vary to different sizes. Since the syringe is plastic, it must be thrown immediately after using it. In using syringes, the patient must only inject the needle into the skin and release the insulin.
- Use of pens – Insulin pens can be both reusable and disposable. Compared to using syringes, an insulin pen can make diabetes management an easier undertaking as its application can be smooth. An insulin pen contains a cartridge that’s already been filled with insulin. If you are using a disposable type of pen, you must discard it immediately after using it.
- Use of pumps – This is a type of medical device that doesn’t involve syringes and pens. It functions by continuously supplying the body with the needed amount of insulin. If you know what a beeper is, that is exactly what insulin pumps look like. It contains a reservoir, cannula, operating buttons, and tubes.
- Use of jet injectors – Compared to the first three methods, jet injectors can be costly and expensive. However, it can be used smoothly as it does not involve needles. It contains a delivery device, injector nozzle, and vial adapter. There aren’t a lot of people that utilize this method because of its complexity and price; however, it is very effective.
Whether it be syringes, pens, pumps, or jet injectors, the treatment is the same and effective. As long as you are following your daily insulin dosage, you will not have a hard time administering your insulin shots. Additionally, you must not forget to check your blood glucose levels as it plays a vital role in the amount of insulin you need to consume on a daily basis.
List of bodily sites in performing your insulin injections
Injecting insulin also involves different bodily sites for application. You can’t just insert the needle somewhere in your body. It also observes specific body parts with proper insertion to the subcutaneous layer of the skin. To know more, consider the following bodily sites:
- Abdominal part of your body – This is by far the most common bodily site to perform the insulin injection. The reason why the abdomen is the most chosen part is that the insulin will be absorbed quickly. Aside from that, injecting insulin in the abdomen is easier as it can be reached immediately.
- Thighs – Also, one of the easiest sites to perform your insulin shots is on your thighs. Simply insert the needle or pen into the subcutaneous layer of your thigh’s skin.
- Arms – Who doesn’t know injections on the arms? This is also by far the most common part where different injections are performed. Whether it be insulin shots or not, the arms are the widely used body part for injections.
- Buttocks – You can also choose to perform your insulin shots on your lower back. Only do these if you can do it without any difficulty. You can also ask someone to do it for you. However, you must note that insulin absorption may take more time on the buttocks.
There is a precaution when performing your insulin shots. This precaution involves rotation of the insulin injections. Why is this so? If you haven’t known yet, if you keep on using the exact spot or site where you perform the shot, there is a high chance that lumps or bumps can develop. If lumps do emerge, it becomes difficult to treat diabetes, and the absorption of insulin can be troublesome.
To avoid such an occurrence, make sure that you rotate your insulin shots. You may use the same area but make sure you are not using the same spot every day. You may also perform the shots in different body parts, according to the mentioned sites above.
If you are serious about getting better, then following the safety measure above is a necessity. You can even ask for advice from your healthcare professional once you start your treatment. That way, your treatment can go smoothly without thinking about the complications or medical dilemmas.
How to inject insulin
While some may say that insulin shots can be a daunting task, most especially if you are doing it alone, it actually is simpler if you only follow the instructions provided to you. Here are the steps to perform a safe and smooth insulin shot:
1st step – Prepare what is needed for your shots. These materials include the vial containing the insulin, syringes, needles, pads that contain a small amount of alcohol damps, bandages, cotton or gauze.
2nd step – This step is very much similar to what you see online or in hospitals. Simply fill the syringe with insulin by holding it upright. After that, you should pull the syringe’s plunger down. If you already have the needed insulin amount, take the needle out from the insulin vial or bottle.
3rd step – Once the insulin shot is already prepared, clean the skin first where you will insert the needle. After doing so, pinch your skin and insert the needle into the subcutaneous layer of the dermis. Press the plunger to release the insulin.
4th step – Once all the insulin is released, pull the needle from the skin and throw away the used syringe. Note that the syringe is plastic, so it is necessary to throw it after its usage.
Your first insulin shot may be a challenge since you have to do it yourself; however, as days go by, it will become a habit. You’ll not only get used to the regular injection; you’ll also be treated in the right way.
Note: The steps provided above are only for the use of insulin syringes. To know the basic steps and methods for other forms of insulin injections, seek advice and instructions from your healthcare professional or from the leaflet provided with the medicine.
In performing the insulin shots, there are important tips and measures that you must know. These tips will help you have comfortable and smooth insulin injection applications. These are as follows:
- Since pain is inevitable during the shots, storing or placing the insulin at room temperature is recommended.
- To maintain safety and cleanliness, discard the used syringes.
- Do not ever use a shared syringe or pen.
- When you are traveling, always bring with you enough supply of insulin.
- Do not use expired insulin.
- Record your daily insulin shots and report them to your healthcare professional
- In planning your insulin shots, it must also adhere to the levels of blood sugar in your body. Note that the amount of insulin you need to take in will depend on the body’s blood glucose condition.
In performing your daily insulin shots, it is necessary to know where the shots must be administered. Since it involves the skin, make sure that the site is not crowded with scars and blemishes. These skin defects can highly affect how the insulin functions and perform its treatment duties.
Before doing the injection, make sure that you are doing it on a clean and sanitized skin surface. Note that cleanliness plays a vital role in any form of shots. It doesn’t only help in making the application smooth, but it also prevents infections.
Finally, always keep an established communication with your healthcare professional. Doing so will allow you to contact him or her if any mishandles and unwanted effects happen. Doing so will allow you to have a smooth and successful treatment.