Previously, insulin was injected in the thighs, arms, or buttocks. Current medical opinion says the abdomen is a much better site since insulin is absorbed more consistent than when injected in other areas.
To avoid the scarring of fatty tissue that occurs with multiple injections, use different areas of the abdomen. This will ensure the correct absorption of insulin into the bloodstream. For more effective injections, Dr. David E. Larson, editor-in-chief of the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book suggests the following:
Remove the protective covering from the needle. Draw the plunger back to the mark on the syringe corresponding to the exact dosage of insulin you require.
Hold the bottle of insulin upright in one hand, and push the needle through the rubber stopper. Push the plunger down to empty air from it.
Turn over the bottle and syringe together. Check that the tip of the needle is covered by the solution, then slowly pull the plunger back, drawing in factally more than your prescribed dose.
Remove air bubbles by tapping the syringe until the bubbles rise to the needle end, then push the plunger until they return to the bottle. Adjust the solution in the syringe to your exact dose, and remove the needle from the bottle.
Using an alcohol swab or a cotton ball soaked with alcohol or soap and water; clean the area of the injection. Hold the syringe as you would a writing utensil. With your other hand, pinch a one- to two-inch fold of it.
Push the point of the needle straight into the fold. Release your grasp of the flesh and using that hand, hold the syringe in place. With your other hand, pull up on the plunger three or four units.
If no blood enters the syringe, push the plunger all the way down and then pull the needle. However, if blood does enter the solution, withdraw the needle immediately and discard the syringe. Prepare a new dose, find a second injection site, and repeat the first three steps.
After injecting the insulin, cover the area of the injection with a cotton ball dampened with alcohol. Apply pressure to the area for a few seconds, but do not rub it as that could cause the insulin to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly.
Oral hypoglycemic agents are often used by type II diabetics who can not control the disease by means of diet or exercise. These medications are taken by mouth and are usually given once daily. They may lower blood glucose levels for as long as four to five days after the last dose is taken. Other agents last for only 24 hours. The newer drugs have fewer side effects and are more potent. But they are also more likely to cause hypoglycemia and should be used cautiously.
"With either type of diabetes, follow-up is important to plan diet, determine changes in insulin (in type I), and monitor blood for sugar levels. prevent many of the complications of diabetes mellitus. "Therefore, strict adherence to the regimen prescribed by the physician is of major importance," said the editors of Consumer Guide's Family Health.
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