Diabetes and Injections

It's not uncommon to be scared of needles
It's not uncommon to be scared of needles

For many diabetics, injections are just a part of life. Yet a surprisingly high number of patients, and not just those who are newly diagnosed, find the injection process extremely upsetting.

Needle phobia is common amongst diabetics. However, with practice and determination, diabetes injections can be made less painful through following our simple guide.

Imagining the injection away

Diabetes-related injections can be annoying and painful, as most patients will agree. In particular, the first few weeks and months can be the most difficult.

For some diabetics, this does not go away.

However, relaxing through the injection can make it easier, and being confident is the key to making injections less painful.

Diabetic injection sites

Choosing the right injection site for your individual diabetic needs is very important, and your diabetic healthcare team should be able to help you with this.

There are four key diabetic injection areas.

These are:

  • Stomach
  • Arms
  • Thighs and
  • Bum

Within these sites, there are numerous smaller areas in which to inject.

Although the idea of finding a place that you feel comfortable with may seem the best strategy, switching between injection sites is vital for the health of you your skin.

Injecting in the same place time after time is quite dangerous, because small lumps can build up and make injected insulin less effective.

Which injection site is best?

Each of the four key injection sites are different, and the rate at which insulin is absorbed will differ depending on which one used.

A general rule of thumb is that the stomach gets insulin to the blood most quickly, whilst the bum is the slowest route.

What else affects how fast insulin enters the blood?

For diabetics that inject insulin, injecting an area about to be used in physical activity (even if it is relatively minor, such as sustained typing) can mean the rate of absorption is much quicker.

Similarly a hot day can speed up the action of insulin. At any time, if you are unsure how quickly your insulin is being absorbed, check your blood glucose levels to make sure.

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