Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to carry blood sugar to the cells to be utilized as an energy source. When a person has type I diabetes, their pancreas cannot produce insulin at all, and when an individual has type II diabetes, their body is unable to make enough insulin. So, patients with type II diabetes require daily insulin injections and to adopt healthy lifestyle choices, including regular physical activity and a diet that is diabetes-friendly.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or look after a loved one with diabetes who requires insulin shots on a daily basis, it is crucial you become informed about insulin shots. Be sure to ask your primary physician for instructions or even for a demonstration prior to applying insulin injections.
Delivering Insulin With a Syringe
Prepare all your supplies first; before beginning with the actual injection step, make sure you have all that you need at an arm’s length like your insulin vial, a syringe, and pads. There is a variety of insulin injection types such as fast-acting or short-acting, so ascertain that you have the kind of insulin prescribed by your doctor. There are also multiple methods of administration such as via insulin pens and insulin pumps, and even when you decide to use a syringe, syringes are available in different sizes.
Delivering your insulin with a syringe is the most common means of insulin delivery as it is inexpensive, and most insurance policies fully cover it.
Syringes are varied depending on how much insulin they can hold as well as their needle size. A 1mL syringe is typical for a dose of 50-100 units of insulin; a 0.5mL syringe for 30-50 units of insulin, and a 0.3mL syringe for a shot less than 30 units.
Refrigerate Your Insulin
The cold temperature is a preventative measure against the insulin getting spoiled too fast, so always store your insulin in the fridge. Remember, however, that you need to wait for the vial of insulin to become room temperature before giving yourself the shot, so a rule of thumb here is to get your insulin out of the fridge about half an hour prior to your injection time.
Use One Type of Insulin for the Syringe
Double-check to make sure you have the correct insulin type and that it is not expired. Keep in mind; there should be no clusters in liquid insulin. Sanitize your hands thoroughly before opening the vial of insulin and use a disinfectant wipe or any type of sterilizing cloth to wipe down the cap of the bottle. Then lift the needle cap, draw back the plunger to the mark that matches to the quantity of insulin you require, stick the needle into the rubber cap and depress the plunger. Turn the bottle backward while the needle is still in and then draw back the plunger once more to fill up the syringe with the correct dose.
Certain Insulin Types May Be Added Together
Only combine two insulin types if your doctor explicitly instructs you to as not all insulin types can be mixed together. Once you know how much of each type of insulin should be mixed in upon your doctor’s instruction, you can fill up your syringe as you normally would when you use one kind of insulin but mixing in the right amounts of the two types of insulin this time instead. Your physician can also instruct you on how to fill the syringe in the correct order.
The Injection Site
Insulin injections need to be delivered into the fatty layer just beneath the skin, which is why the best injection sites on the body are the stomach, thighs, below the upper arm, and buttocks. Patients in need of daily insulin injections should switch up the places of injection to circumvent scarring. It is a good idea to make it a habit of delivering the shots to the same general area on the body while choosing different specific spots for injections.
After deciding on an injection site, all that is left is to give yourself the injection. You must sanitize the injection site with soap and water. Squeeze the skin and tissue of fat tightly together and lightly part it from the muscle mass beneath and then insert the needle at a 90-degree angle granted you have enough tissue to work with. If you are a lean person, you may want to inject the needle at a 45-degree angle to make things easier. Once the needle is fully in, begin pressing the plunger to release the insulin. Never, ever reuse syringes.
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