Achieving normal blood glucose readings can be challenging but it is a most worthwhile objective. Research has shown that keeping blood sugars within near normal range can prevent or delay many of the complications associated with diabetes. Careful use and storage of insulin can be important factors in good blood sugar control.

Why Injections?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help regulate blood sugar levels. The pancreas of a diabetic person may not produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels, resulting in high blood sugar. The hormone must then be introduced artificially into the system.

While the pancreas also produces the enzymes used in digestion, insulin is destroyed by the digestive system. This means that with current technology supplementation cannot be oral. To be usable, it must be administered by injection. Traditionally, insulin has been injected by syringe, but newer forms of delivery are becoming more common. Jet injectors use pressure to “push” the insulin into the skin. Insulin pens function similarly to syringes but contain pre-filled cartridges.

Finally, pumps deliver insulin in a manner most consistent with a normally functioning pancreas.

No matter which method of delivery you choose, it’s important to rotate the injection sites you use. Repeated use of the same sites may cause scarring or other forms of tissue damage that can lead to decreased absorption. Move at least one inch from prior site locations, preferably using a different area of the body for each injection throughout the day. The balance is tricky, as too much insulin will result in hypoglycemia and low blood sugar symptoms, too little, and the blood sugar remains high.

Learn how different areas of your body absorb insulin. Many people find faster or slower absorption depending on the site used for a specific injection.

Low blood sugar symptoms may be noticed if you use your abdomen when you previously only used your thighs for injections. On the other hand, by using sites with quicker absorption ability, the damage caused by prolonged high blood sugar can be avoided.

When using a pump, site rotation becomes even more important. Because infusion sets may be left in place for 48 to 72 hours, the possibility of skin damage is increased. Extra care must be used to avoid infection and scarring.

Some scientists have discovered that absorption through the lungs is quite effective.

Syringes a Thing of the Past?

Woman using insulin inhalation device

In the U.S., prescription drugs must gain approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) before they are available for prescription.This is a process involving several phases of clinical trials to ascertain their effectivenes