Do you remember your very first instruction about injecting insulin ?

Does injection technique make a difference to your diabetes day to day management?
Do you remember your very first instruction about injecting insulin? did it involve an orange?
First of all, let’s take the size of your needle tip.
False !!!!
I clearly remember being told that the size of the needle prescribed to us for injecting insulin depended on our body weight or BMI. The more pleasantly plump we were the bigger the needle tip we needed.
you see this is the problem I have with what we are told in some clinics and GP’s because when we are told something like this we tend to believe it …….
sure it makes logical sense.
Fact !!!!

Skin thickness is on average 2mm to 2.5mm in most adults. The average skin thickness of 2mm is constant across all injection sites regardless of a patients Age, Gender, Body Mass Index / BMI or Ethnicity.

The probability of an accidental intramuscular injection increases with very mm in needle length.

so there you have it, no matter how cute and cuddly you are your skin thickness remains the same.

Fact !!!

Fat thickness varies from one person to another, fat thickness in adolescents and children is less than adults.

The bullseye here is to actually get the fat layer when your injecting insulin and not the muscle under that.

I remember when I used to inject Lantus, the sting and burn sensation that followed the injection at night before bed was not only uncomfortable but it often brought tears to my eyes.

This happened every night, but back in those days I was using a 5mm or 6mm needle tip and I had no idea that I could have this sensation eliminated. 

Lantus has that effect they said.

until one day i hosted and attended an injection technique talk. The professional giving the talk gave me some sample 4mm needle tips to try and o my god what a difference.

The 4mm needle tip literally slipped comfortable through my 2mm of skin and then landed in my fat layer, nowhere near the muscle – no sting and burn. That night was a lightbulb moment for me and no longer did I have to psych myself up for my Lantus at night.

FYI !!!!!

Please take a moment to focus on the picture below. ( before and after )

pen needles are very fine and they are lubricated for ease of entry……. but only once!

When you reuse your pen needle, the needle tip becomes bent and blunt, the lubricant is gone off it after its first use.

please think about that for a moment, this means every use the needle tip gets after its first use is causing damage to the injection site used, OK that tiny weeny spot might not make a difference right now but over time if this is a regular practice we engage in we are doing damage that will, beyond a doubt cause complications of some kind in the future.

For those who think diabetes is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle let me clarify a couple of things.

I have type 1 diabetes. It’s an autoimmune disease. Nothing I did or didn’t do caused it and nothing I do will cure it. There’s is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes happens because our own antibodies attack and destroy an organ in the body. it’s an autoimmune response where antibodies that normally fight disease mistake a part of our body
(the pancreas in this case) as foreign and attack to destroy it.
When those antibodies attack the insulin-producing islets in the pancreas we stop producing insulin so we need to inject or pump it.

Without insulin a person with type 1 diabetes would die. At present, it is not known what causes this to happen, and there is no cure.
A person with Type 1 diabetes MUST inject or pump insulin to stay alive.

There are many factors that contribute to a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes so prejudgment of a lifestyle choice is unfair at very least.
A person with Type 2 diabetes, while still producing their own insulin for various reasons their body cannot use it correctly or efficiently.
These people are generally treated with oral medications and sometimes with insulin injections.

Davina Lyon

 Co-Founder of Diabetes T One & A Diabetes Life

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