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Bad reaction to insulin

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by jhirst, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. jhirst

    jhirst · Newbie

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    My 14 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in September 2008 and has been on Novorapid since. He has been complaining for some time that his injections hurt, not just at the time of injection, but for a long time after. His stomach feels swollen and burns. He has now been given Humalog as we have been told it could be to do with the preservatives in Novorapid. Unfortunately he has still experienced discomfort with his injection at tea time. Can anybody help?
     
  2. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Welcome to the forum Jhirst.i hope someone on insulin will answer your question shortly.Meanwhile have a look round the type one forum to see if there is anything there that will help.
     
  3. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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  4. RPNKW

    RPNKW · Active Member

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    There appears to be no easy answer but I would first ensure that any insulin is at room temprearuire and not refrigerated and that your son injects in sites with fatty tissue but distant from the belly area e.g thighs, buttocks, even arms (Though not usually a reccommended site).

    In addition I would suggest seeing your doctor as to the type of insulin in use, I have read that a number of people complain of burning sensations with novo -rapid.

    I would also ask how your son has been allowed to express his feelings about being diabetic cos if it's hard for me as a big 45 year old to get a head round this condition it must br a damn site harder for a 14 year old and though at 14 kids want to be grown up and take it all in their stride in reality theyt may well be ridden with angst and sorrow about the burden of diabetes and no the stupid Governments "change4life" ******** that somehow implies that it is a kids fault that they are diabetic is not helping so please get your teen to feel able to express emotions on this.

    I am sorry I cannot help more, I am new to this too but hey we all feel our way along the path if one who is recently diagnosed kicks off, hope others with more experience join in

    RPNKW
     
  5. Stuboy

    Stuboy · Well-Known Member

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    Hello!

    Do you know what length needles your son is using? If you he is getting lumps under the skin then he may not be injecting deep enough. Sometimes if you're going in "just" under the skin the inuslin can pool under the skin which causes a lump and make it soar for a while afterwards.

    A longer needle might be worth a try, I use 6mm, i know you can get 5mm, so maybe an 8mm would be a good one to try... it's hard to say without know how your son is built.

    Also if he's a skinny lad, does it pinch up the skin before injecting? I dont mean a hard pinch, i mean a soft pinch just to raise it up for the injection. "pinch an inch".

    I've been using novo-rapid for 3 years and i've never experienced any burning sensations... only a slight stinging sensation if it's just come from the fridge. Like RPNKW says, wait for the insulin to reach room temp before injecting. It's safe to keep insulin in an insulin pen for 28 days without storing it in the fridge.

    Failing any of that... i'd go to the doctor!
     
  6. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    Some people get allergic responses which are usually to one specific insulin. I'd definitely contact your doctor, apidra is another alternative.
     
  7. Nomi

    Nomi · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    i've een using novorapid for a year and a half and haven't had any major issues. occasionally it stings but thats usually when its either cold or i catch some muscle.(always ict nto ftty tissue.)Sometimes if the needle doesn't go in deep enough you get little bumps and these might hurt too. I suffered a lot of bruising when i first started injecting and my doctor gave me shorter needles. Try to ensure that you inject in a different place each time, not just a different area, as you need to give it time to recover. If you hit small blood vessels that can sting a lot too, but for no more than a few seconds. If you haven't seen your dr already i would reccommend it, as there are plenty of different types of insulin out there, it could just be a case of finding out whats right fo your son. hope you get sorted x
     
  8. jhirst

    jhirst · Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies. Things are not going too well. Have had the specialist nurse round who changed his insulin from novorapid to humalog {they have different preservatives} however there has been little change. He has now been off school for 2 weeks because of the pain, he feels burning in his bladder as well, although there is no infection. He is also going to see a consultant urologist next week and an ultra sound scan has been requested. Went to see the diabetic Dr today at local hospital who was nice but still not sure what is causing problem. They have suggested using an Insuflon Subcutaneous Injection Port which looks promising to avoid lots of injections and therefore might stop the pain and swelling. Keeping fingers crossed there might be light at the end of this dark tunnel.
     
  9. James Price

    James Price · Member

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    Dear jhirst.
    This may sound like a silly question may I ask what part of his body is your son is injecting his insulin into?
    Regards James P
     
  10. jhirst

    jhirst · Newbie

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    Hi James P
    He injects into his stomach and refuses to try any other site. Went to see the nurse at hospital today and have decided to try twice daily injections using the Humalog mix. He seems happier with this so will give it a try. Really, he just doesn't want to accept that he is a diabetic and that is going to take time to sort out. The subcutaneous injection port looked brilliant but he didn't want it because he was bothered about it being knocked at school.
    We will keep on trying!
     
  11. lucati

    lucati · Member

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    It's interesting that your son prefers to inject in his stomach, when I was diagnosed I had no intention of injecting there!! I used my thighs, but when I moved to having more than 2 injections a day I had to use my stomach as well to increase the number of areas where I could inject.

    Injecting yourself at the beginning is obviously going to be fairly traumatic for him, especially at that age, but hopefully in time it will sort itself out. As for the issue of painful injections, I don't have alot of body fat which does mean injections can hurt quite alot, but the only idea I can come up with is perhaps he is injecting into the same area too often? I injected into the same area of my thigh twice in one day (obviously without realising it), and for the next few days the area (quite a big area) was slightly raised and very sore. It's always a good idea to rotate your injection sites, especially if he is on only 2 injections a day, as I would assume each injection he is having will contain more insulin than before with novorapid.

    I hope that helps!
     
  12. deanfeast

    deanfeast Type 1 · Member

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    Hello, I would like to say that I use novorapid and I do get the burning sensation when I inject around my stumoch area. I have found that I get a small build up of insulin as a tiny lump under the skin. What really helped me was if I rubbed the area I was going to inject into to help the blood flow and make sure it was warm. I used to get the burning pain for up to an hour after injecting and sometimes I could feel it the next day. It will get better as he gets used to his injection sites. I found that the sides of my stumoch area about an inch off the top of my hip was the best place. Hope that helps a bit! :D
     
  13. Lel

    Lel · Well-Known Member

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    Hey,

    It is a very daunting thing learning to inject yourself, especially when it's something you REALLY don't want to be doing.

    You should incourage your son to try another area as i find my stomach to be the worst and im not the skinniest person in the world :lol: so i can't imagine it for anyone smaller than me.
    i found my bum to be pretty pain free and my thighs as well but it took a while to build up to that but now i wonder why i didnt try it sooner.
    i still inject very slowly, i take my time to test where the needle is going to see if i can feel any pain to start, if i do i change places. There has been the odd occasion where i just shove it in in a hurry (like today) and i feel a little bit of pain for a bit but it soone goes.

    i hope he gets sorted soon.

    take care
    xx
     
  14. martinsoton

    martinsoton · Well-Known Member

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    Hi I agree

    I am a big burly 19 stone rugby player, but my injections still hurt some times. Some things that help reduce pain bruising.

    1. make sure the needle enters at 90 degrees to body at an angle can hurt some times
    2. try and get the needel in a nice flabby bit, grabbing a bit of love handle usually works best, but remember to keep changining locations
    3. make sure the insulin is not chilled still
    4. inject slowly as ill i shoot in quck i get a little lump and bruise
    5. Some times it does just hurt for no reason!

    non of my systems i would describe as burning though. It would speak to a decent diabetic specialist, in my experiance the quality varies if you are not happy with yours find another, it is important your son gets the treatment he deserves!
     
  15. faithfully300144

    faithfully300144 · Member

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    Sue,
    I agree with the fact that your son may need to be injecting the insulin to a more fatty site and should definitely be rotating sites, as he is young and may or may not be using the proper sites, techniques for injection, or needle to inject. Also how does your son generally tolerate pain? Is he afraid of his diabetes? Is he being educated properly? Finally, how are you handling the situation? Sometimes kids pick up on parents stress. Another thought. Sometimes diabetics are allergic to or have a bad reaction to pork products and may react badly to certain insulins. I will reiterate a thought I passed on to newbie. The UK has some of the best medical research in the world. Be educated!!!!!!!!!!
    Faithfully
     
  16. Lbayley

    Lbayley · Newbie

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    I am sorry to hear that...

    I had the same problem myself...I am 24 and have had diabetes for 12 years, but a year ago when on Novorapid and Detemir insulin I had bad reactions to them and was told that I was allergic to it!! (however I was also allergic to humalog)

    Anyway they put me on an insulin called APIDRA and so far I have had no problem using it and the swellings/bumps and soreness that I used to get has stopped.

    It is a fairly new insulin and many doctors have not heard of it, but it is still a stort acting insulin and therefore if the problem arises again it may be worth enquiring about it (apparantly it doesn't contain any Zinc which is what can causes the reaction in some people)

    All the best for your son in the future :)
     
  17. Stunning

    Stunning · Member

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    Hi there,

    My two-pence worth.

    Back in 1983, i was using probably the longest needles/syringes known to mankind.

    These days i use an 8mm job for both NovoRapid and Lantus. Never had a problem with the Novo regarding burning/discomfort et al, but, now and again, I do experience (for about 5-10 seconds) a stinging sensation after a Lantus jab. This is regardless of my injection site.

    IMHO, i have always preferred the injections to testing blood lancet, regarding any pain or discomfort factors.

    I'm sure that, after time, you get to do injections with your eyes shut.

    DS
     
  18. Lbayley

    Lbayley · Newbie

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    I have to agree I used to get a stinging sensation after injecting with the Lantus but apparantly that is common.

    My problem was more severe then that I literally had massive bumps that turned red, got infected and burned red, very quickly. They used to take about two weeks to go down each time I injected hence why they thought it was an allergic reaction (similar description to the boy in the posting from jhirst)

    This is why I am on apidra now as it is the Zinc in the insulin apprantly that can cause this and this particular insulin doesn't have that in it.

    I have recently started on a pump also which is working better for me at the moment...fingers crossed :D
     
  19. bmtest

    bmtest · Well-Known Member

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    Humalog for me always burned at the injection site have had no problems with Novorapid.

    Make sure you wipe any spillage off the skin after the injection also is injection site clean and fresh needle.
     
  20. Eliminator

    Eliminator · Well-Known Member

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    Hi I don't know if your still looking for an answer but here is some info that might help.

    My son has been on insulin for 15 months now and he injects into his stomach, he used to say it was burning and hurt, then we remembered a small bit of advice were were told at the start.
    you should be doing it like this...

    grab a bit from a fatty part of the stomach

    insert needle in straight (not on an angle)

    Inject the required dose

    LEAVE THE NEEDLE IN FOR 10 SECONDS AFTER THE INJECTION IS DONE.

    This was the problem for him, the reason is, if you take the needle out too soon, small drops of insulin still come off the needle and onto the skin, this can cause stinging and redness round the injection site.

    My son also uses novorapid and levamere ( I have just started on both of them too, and I know the burning feeling, also if you inject into the same site that can hurt too as the site might not be recovered from the last time you injected there. thats why you should move sites around the body.

    My son is now 14 and he in on 6mm needles, I am on 8mm needles but I have tried his and 6mm is much better, so your son might be better off with 6mm (if he's not on them allready) eventualy we all have to go up to 8mm anyway.

    I hope this info is usefull, it's only the obvious, but sometimes people forget the obvious.

    Good luck and hope this helps.
     
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