Injecting insulin without pain – this is how it works!
However, insulin injection can be done without pain and problems when you know about the correct technique. Today, the insulin pen is often preferred to the conventional insulin syringe, since the easy handling allows painless injecting.
General instructions for injecting insulin
Usually, after the diagnosis of sugar disease, training is offered in groups or individual counseling sessions that show the correct use of a diabetes pen. It is important that the needle is placed in the subcutaneous fat tissue. Pricking to deep can be painful and the effect of the insulin is impaired. The best way is to perform the injection at the belly, the thighs or the buttocks. The needle is inserted vertically into a self-formed skin fold. Pen needles are available in different lengths. The length primarily depends on the insulin dose. The doctor should give you advice and determine which length is suitable for the person concerned. Using a diabetic syringe, the diabetic must determine the injection depth by himself. The injection site must be changed every time.
Using an insulin pen
- When using a standard pen, the insulin cartridge is inserted at first. The cartridge should be removed from the refrigerator some time before use. If the insulin cartridge is too cold, the injection may be painful. For pre-filled diabetes pens, insulin is already included in the pen. If it is used up, the pen must be disposed of.
- Then the needle is placed onto the pen. First the protective foil of the outer needle protection cap is removed. Then the needle can be screwed or plugged onto the pen. After the needle is attached, the needle caps are removed. In order to adjust the threaded rod to the new cartridge, the pen is directed vertically with the needle tip headed upwards. If air bubbles are in the cartridge, they should be forced to rise up by tapping the cartridge. The dosage knob is then pressed until the first drop flows out of the needle tip. This test should be done before each injection.
- If NPH or mixed insulin is injected, it must first be mixed. Do not shake the pen because it may influence the effect of the insulin. It is better to just slowly wave it. This process is not necessary with clear insulin.
- Before applying the needle to the skin, the correct insulin dose must be adjusted. This is easily done with the dosage knob. The needle can then be pierced vertically into the subcutaneous tissue.
- It should not be removed until ten seconds later. A new needle should be used after each injection. The needle can already become dull after the first use and may therefore cause pain when it is re-injected. In addition, the needle is no longer sterile after only one use and there is a risk of infection. Furthermore, hardenings can form and they may impair the effect of the injected insulin and lead to pain.
Even if you have some experience in insulin injection, mistakes may creep in. Therefore, diabetics should monitor their injection technique over and over again. If serious blood glucose values are measured, this may be due to an incorrect technique. When the technique is changed, but the values still remain critical, a doctor should be consulted.