Important Things To Note When Injecting Insulin

Many have problems with insulin injection because they say it destroys their tissue. Lumps and depressions in insulin sites are a common problem with insulin therapy.

Some say they cannot explain why they just injected insulin at a certain time and the need for the next dose does not coincide with the expected and scheduled administration.

Either they need to inject the insulin before the time stipulated, or a bit later. These problems commonly arise from the lack of understanding of utilizing insulin sites.

It?s important to note that you inject insulin by subcutaneous method. This means that you do not access the muscle beneath your skin, but that fatty layer between your skin and muscle. Why so?

That is because insulin is best absorbed through the fat layer. Lack of or too much adipose (fat) tissue greatly affects insulin absorption.

Too much fat leads to slow absorption, while lack or minimal amount of it increases absorption rate. Because of this, not all areas of your body are applicable for insulin therapy.

Only certain areas are allowed, and each area has varying degrees of absorption rate. The sites are listed below according to the rate of which insulin is absorbed, from fastest to the slowest
? Abdomen
? Upper outer arm
? Upper outer legs
? Buttocks

When you inject insulin, you must remember to rotate each injection site. Neglecting to rotate injection sites creates complications due to prolonged contact of insulin in the subcutaneous tissue. The complications are collectively termed as Lypodystrophy, and they are:

~ Lipoatrophy: this the degeneration of subcutaneous tissue that is seen as a depression in the injection site.

o Management: inject around the site. It may eventually fill itself up, but it would take months for it to return to normal.

~ Lypohypotrophy: this is manifested as painless lumps beneath the skin on the injection site. The nerves have been damaged by the constant irritation of the insulin, leading to loss of sensation to the site.

Patients may prefer to inject in this site more for they do not perceive any discomfort. Doing so is not advisable for the site already has a highly impaired ability in absorbing insulin. This can cause unstable levels of blood glucose which can pose some problems with the patient.

o Management: avoid the injection site as much as possible and inject only at the site opposite and not adjacent to the affected site. In severe cases, laser surgery may be required.

When you rotate an injection site, move an inch from the previous site when you administer the next dose. Some use a clock pattern when there is a need to inject more than one insulin in a day.

The first dose will be injected at the 12 o?clock position, the next is given at the 1 o?clock position and so on until the whole clock is consumed. The next body part will then be used for insulin therapy.

Or you can ask for a template from your doctor so you can closely monitor where you have injected your last dose of insulin. Choose a site in which you will perform the least amount of movement.

Increased activity causes fast insulin absorption and can cause hypoglycemia. Never administer a dose before your exercise regimen for the same reason. If you must inject on your legs, do not choose a site between them. Constant rubbing of the injection site can increase your discomfort after insulin administration.

Keep these safety tips in mind to prevent complications from occurring on your insulin sites. Any form of complication can dramatically alter your insulin absorption rate which will greatly affect your blood sugar levels. If complications do occur, consult your physician immediately for proper and immediate management.

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