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Things to keep in mind before injecting insulin

A patient takes a blood glucose test during an event aimed to help people with diabetes to cope with their illness at Saint Luka diagnostics medical center in Sofia, November 13, 2012.  Picture taken November 13, 2012.    REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: HEALTH)
A patient takes a blood glucose test during an event aimed to help people with diabetes to cope with their illness at Saint Luka diagnostics medical center in Sofia, November 13, 2012. Picture taken November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: HEALTH)

New Delhi: Insulin injections may play major role in your diabetes treatment.

So here’s some solid advice from Dr. Sanjay Kalra Bharti Hospital, Karnal to set your mind, and your body at rest.

Fisrt, insulin needs to be injected into fatty areas beneath the skin and not into the muscles. Also, do not inject into scar tissue, swellings moles, nerves, varicose veins, or bruised sites.

Second, there are a few areas that are most preferable to pick, in order of how fast insulin is absorbed into the body, the abdomen, the back of the upper arms, the fleshy part of the thighs, the buttocks.

Third, know about the correct positions and injection technique. For abdomen, stay three inches away from bellybutton. For thighs, the front and outer area is the best option. For arms, you may inject into fatty tissue between the shoulder and the elbow. For buttocks, strictly avoid the lower area.

Fifth, make sure to keep the time of day and body part the same. For instance, if your morning dose is given in the arms, then continue to do this every morning. Your afternoon site may be the thighs.

Six, move the next injection site at least at a finger’s distance from the previous site. Or else, there’s a possibility of developing hard lumps or fatty deposits, which can change the way insulin is absorbed into the body.

Seventh, when injecting, keep muscles relaxed. Do not massage the spot after you inject.

Eighth, if you are into sports or involved in strenuous physical activities, don’t inject insulin into an area which is affected by the exercise you are doing. For example, if you plan to jog after your morning injection, avoid insertion of insulin into your thighs.

Ninth, get a clear idea from your doctor about the size of the needle and the injection schedule which you need to follow. If you are not comfortable with syringes, speak to your doctor and try out other delivery options such as pens or pumps.

Tenth, for syringes, the correct technique is to pinch the area using only your thumb and index finger – taking a couple of inches of skin and fat. Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle, so it doesn’t go into the muscle. Push the plunger in, release skin, and remove needle after counting slowing till 10. Then release the pinch-up.

Eleventh, if you’re bleeding or the injection is hurting, do check with your doctor about your insertion technique. Also, re-use of needles causes pain. Insulin needs to be at room temperature, or else it may hurt.

Twelve, never reuse a needle-it could be blunted, break and get lodged in the skin, or be bent. Definitely don’t share needles.

Thirteenth, store insulin right. Keep them at room temperature (59° to 86° F) for one month after opening. Do not store insulin in direct sunlight, the freezer, or near air-conditioning vents, and heating devices and radiators. You can store unopened vials or pens in the refrigerator.

Finally, don’t fear injections, it only helps you manage your diabetes better! (ANI)

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