How do I take insulin? The basic control measure taken against diabetes is controlling the sugar intake levels. Oral medication and lifestyle changes such as exercising may be able to control if not treat the disease at first. However, people suffering from type 2 diabetes eventually find themselves turning to insulin for medication.
Intake of insulin may be short term or long term, depending on the nature of the disease. We’ll take you step by step on the procedure and measures to be taken when administering insulin.
Starting Insulin Treatment
Patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes begin their treatment with exercise, diet, and oral medication. With time, insulin is added to the treatment. There are several types of insulin, categorized by how fast their actions are and how long they remain active: rapid-acting, short-acting, long-acting, and very long-acting insulins.
When starting insulin treatment, medical practitioners normally recommend basal insulin. In layman’s language, this means taking long or intermediate-acting forms of insulin in order to keep your sugar levels controlled throughout the day.
The dosage is usually once per day; taken either in the morning or during bedtime. If this dose isn’t responding well with diabetes, the dose is adjusted with time. Two injections per day transpire.
If it still persists, the patients are then treated with intensive insulin regimens. This required multiple injections daily. The sole purpose of this is to keep the sugar levels controlled at all times. Tests to measure the sugar levels are also taken frequently during the day.
How Do I Take Insulin
Insulin is usually not administered through pills but rather injections. A device called a pen injector is injected to the subcutaneous layer, the layer of skin under the fat. A needle or a syringe may also be used.
There is no specific body part restricted to the injection.
You may inject the insulin on any part of the body. It’s highly recommended that a friend or member of your family should be familiar with the process to assist if the need arises. The rate by which insulin is absorbed into your body is dependent on the dose and body part.
A pen injector is convenient when you’re out and far from home. Pen injectors measure the size of a large writing pen. They come along with a cartridge that contains the insulin, a dial for setting up the dose and a button that is pressed to administer it. Always remember to use a new needle when administering every injection. This is for hygiene purposes. The needles are purchased separately from the pens. Also, don’t share your cartridges.
Pens come in handy when administering small doses for accuracy. They are also useful for people with blurry visions. Different pens are available for different insulins. You should check with your doctor before using any. Also, be sure to dig in a little deeper into your pocket as they are more expensive than needles and syringes.
Needles and syringes are alternatives to pen injectors. When using a needle, you draw up the insulin from its bottle using the syringes then inject yourself using the needle.
Drawing Up Insulin
There are many different ways of drawing up insulin. Pens come with their set of instructions on how to use them. You should also consult your doctor about what procedures to follow. Before drawing up the insulin, however, you should be aware of the dose and type of insulin required.
People who take more than one type of insulin need to calculate the number of doses to be taken.
Children and people with visual problems may also need assistance. There are magnification devices to help with this. If you have any problem with drawing up your insulin, always consult with your health provider for assistance. Don’t be shy to ask.
A special type of insulin, U-500 insulin requires special treatment. A special type of syringe called the U-500 syringe is used. The syringe is only to be used with this type of insulin. Mixing it with other types of insulins may cause a dangerous overdose. It also makes the measurement of the dose easy. Your health provider will show you how to go about with its usage.
Angle of Insulin Injection
As mentioned earlier, insulin is injected under the skin. The angle by which you inject it into the skin is very important. Injecting the insulin too deep into the muscle makes it get absorbed too quickly into the body. On the other hand, injecting it too shallow makes it not get absorbed well, and they are normally very painful.
Factors used to determine the angle of injection include your body type, length of the needle and the body part. Your health provider will assist you in determining this. The following basic steps are used for injecting insulin.
1. Determine the body part or site to inject. If it’s dirty, use alcohol to clean the area.
2. Pinch the skin and quickly insert the pen at an angle of 90°. The angle may differ depending on how you’ve agreed with your doctor. To avoid injecting the insulin into your muscles, keep pinching the skin.
3. Push the plunger down to ensure all the insulin is absorbed into the body. Continue holding the syringe for five seconds, or ten seconds for pens.
4. You can now release the skin and remove the needle from your body.
If blood or clear fluid (insulin) oozes out from the injection site, apply pressure to the part to facilitate absorption. Don’t rub it as this may cause the insulin to be absorbed too fast. Remember to carefully dispose of needles and syringes after use.
They become dull quickly and re-using them increases the pain of injection. Do not share your syringes with anyone, regardless of the situation. Also, don’t include the syringes with other household trash but place them separately and at a safe place.
We’re pretty sure that now you can comfortably take yourself through the entire process without any problems. It’s good that someone else should also be conversant with the process to help you out at times; four hands are better than two. Stick to your dose and don’t miss any. Stay safe and healthy.