What are insulin injections? How do you give them and where do you give them?
For many people, this can be a daunting responsibility. As with any other type of procedure, the more one does it, the more comfortable it will become. Your doctor should classify you into one of two therapy groups: standard or intensive.
Standard Insulin Injections:
Standard therapy means that you inject once or twice daily, at the same dosing schedule and at the same times.
Most of the time, this is once in the morning and once in the evening. This type of therapy usually gives an individual consistent blood glucose levels.
Intensive Insulin Injections:
Intensive therapy indicates that you use a pump which injects insulin three or more times per day. Your insulin dosage is determined by your daily blood glucose at specific intervals. Other factors which could impact your dosage of insulin include:
- Activity level
This type of injection schedule can also be accomplished with standard insulin, but on a “sliding scale.” The goal is to keep your glucose levels as normal as possible. Side effects of this regimen include low blood sugar and weight gain.
So now that you understand the types of insulin therapies, let’s talk about the actual injections.
Insulin needs to be injected under the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and into the dermis and surrounding subcutaneous far deposits. Not only is it more effective, it is also less painful than injecting directly into the muscle.
Where do you inject insulin?
There are four proper areas on your body that are suitable to inject the insulin:
- The outside, fleshy part of the upper arm
- Anywhere on the buttocks
- The front and outside portion of the thigh
Interestingly enough, each of these areas absorbs insulin at different rates. In order from fastest to shortest, they are: the abdomen, the arms, the buttocks, and the thighs. Many individuals will inject their breakfast and lunch insulin into the arms and abdomen because it is released quicker. The later doses would be administered in other areas to slowly release the hormone. Each individual has a different number of injection sites based upon their body size.
What is an insulin pump?
This device is a battery-powered computer similar in size to a deck of playing cards. The pump consists of a gear-driven plunger and a syringe of insulin. A needle or catheter is inserted under the epidermis, usually in the abdomen or thigh regions. The insulin is then injected into your body.
You have the ability to program the pump as to how many units and what time the insulin is to be delivered. You even have the capability to receive additional spurts of drug during the day if required.
What can the insulin pump do for you?
- Helps you keep you blood glucose levels closer to normal. This is referred to as tight control.
- Controls and eliminates peaks and valleys in the nights and mornings.
- Smoothens out glucose swings.
What are the conditions to be concerned about when using insulin pumps?
- Ketoacidosis is a build-up of ketones in your body when your insulin is low.
- Infections occur when needles or catheters entering your body are not sterile.
- Skin allergies can develop from reactions to the needles or catheters.