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Insulin Tips

Insulin Tips: Are You Doing It Right?

There’s definitely an art to injecting insulin. If you take insulin, you may have been taught that there’s a proper technique for  giving injections, whether you use a syringe or a pen. If you’re experiencing any issues, it’s important to research insulin tips to make the injections a little easier for you.

1. Rotate the insertion site.

Insulin is absorbed at different speeds depending on where you choose to inject it, so it’s best to use the same part of the body for each of your daily injections.

It’s also important to move each injection site around on the specific area, at least one finger’s width from the previous injection site to avoid the creation of hard lumps or extra fat deposits. These extra fat deposits could change the way insulin is absorbed.

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2. Forgetting to take your insulin?

Everyone forgets to do things here and there. Forgetting to take your insulin can greatly impact your blood sugar though. Missing just one injection a week can raise your HbA1c level by 0.5%. What are some insulin tips that can help you remember?

  • Link taking your insulin with other daily habits, such as eating breakfast.
  • Keep your insulin and supplies in a convenient place.
  • Set an alarm, use sticky notes, ask your spouse or family member to remind you.

3. Insulin leaking from the injection site?

It’s not unusual for insulin to leak out of the injection site after you pull the needle out. Usually, the amount that leaks out is insignificant and isn’t likely to affect your blood sugar levels. But it’s still important to minimize or avoid leakage with the following insulin tips:

  • Count to 10 before withdrawing the needle.
  • After removing the needle, place your finger on the site for 5–10 seconds.
  • If you use a pen, always remove the needle after you inject. Leaving the needle on can cause air to enter the cartridge and it will take longer to inject the insulin.
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4. Know the warning signs of an insulin reaction.

Low blood sugar occurs when there’s too much insulin in your bloodstream and not enough sugar reaching your brain and muscles. Low blood sugar can come on quickly and symptoms can include dizziness, shakiness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat.

High blood sugar can also occur. This can develop slowly over several days when the body doesn’t have enough insulin and blood sugar levels increase. Symptoms are increased thirst and urination, large amounts of sugar in the blood, weakness, labored breathing, nausea, and vomiting.

5. Store your insulin correctly.

Insulin can usually be stored at room temperature for a month, but when kept in the refrigerator, unopened bottles last until the expiration date printed on the bottle. Opened bottles stored in the refrigerator should be used or thrown away after a month.

It’s important to never store insulin in direct sunlight, the freezer, or near heating or air conditioning vents. It should also not be left in a very warm or cold car. Store it in an insulated case if necessary.