Do you need to inject insulin? Lose fear of the prick

It is true that nobody likes a puncture, but if you need to inject insulin as part of your treatment to control diabetes, you must make an effort to overcome your rejection of the picket or puncture. There are ways to alleviate the process and we want to share them with you.

Millions of people suffer from diabetes around the world and many of them need to inject insulin daily, and even several times a day! It is not for you to find comfort in the bad time shared, but strength and encouragement. To start: if all of them can do it, so can you! Luckily, there are ways to alleviate the experience, beginning with accepting your anxieties and fears, which are very real and understandable. To overcome them, I advise you the following:
  • Ask for professional help. Your doctor, the nurse or a diabetes educator can provide you with the information you need and can even practice with you so that you will lose the fear of pain and to master the technique. Ask all the necessary questions and make sure you know how to use the needles and syringes, what dose you should use, and very important, how to use your meter to check your blood glucose levels. The more you know about your diabetes, the treatment, the insulin and how to apply it, the better for you. Surely, after a couple of applications, you’ll feel more relaxed and confident, like a professional!
  • Does the pain scare you? Try then to numb the area with a little ice that you should apply a few minutes before the injection or puncture. Remember that the area where you inject yourself is important. Basically you need to inject yourself in an area where you have adipose tissue (subcutaneous fat or below the skin). The abdomen is the most indicated area, but you can also inject into the arm, thigh or buttocks. Do not click on the same place always to avoid scar tissue forming (a hardening). This would prevent insulin from being properly absorbed and properly reaching the bloodstream. You can try to inject yourself into the same general area (for example, in the abdomen) so that the insulin reaches the blood with the same speed every time you inject yourself if you do it once a day, but rotating in different parts of the abdomen. If you inject several times a day, perhaps at another time of the day you can inject into the thighs, again, rotating the site.
  • Try injecting yourself with smaller needles. The shorter ones, such as those used in insulin pens, will make less impression and are very effective. According to some specialists, those that come in the range of 4 or 5 millimeters are usually easier to use. Check with your doctor or your nurse to see if this type of needle suits you. Practice until you have mastered its use and how to load the dose you need into the syringe.
  • Consult your doctor if you should use an alternative method to administer insulin , such as an insulin pen  or other device such as an insulin pump . The pens are easier to use and charge and may cause less discomfort, especially if you have to inject yourself when you are not at home.
  • If you refrigerate the insulin, take it out at room temperature about 10 minutes before injecting since the cold insulin usually burns. You can also rub the syringe with your hands to warm it up a little bit.
  • Remember to clean the area well with alcohol, prick the skin and insert the needle at a 90 degree angle. Empty the syringe, count to five, release the skin and the needle will come out easily.
In a few applications you will already feel more comfortable with the process and the fear will disappear. You will always feel the prick and it is even possible that at first you click on a blood vessel and you get a bruise (a purple). That is normal. But if you feel a lot of pain, it’s a sign that something is not working well and you should contact your doctor.

Practice and perseverance are important in the treatment of diabetes. Keep in mind that your goal is to stabilize your blood glucose levels and in this task, insulin injections are your allies, despite the puncture. If you think that way, there will be no fear worth!

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