Insulin may be a 90-year-old drug, but there are many new things happening when it comes to taking it. Finally, there are insulin devices that to suit diabetics who have a phobia of needles, poor vision and mobility issues!
Read on for five ways that diabetics can take insulin - from the old-fashion needle and syringe to jet injections, insulin pens and other new ways. Just make sure that you chat to your certified diabetes educator before switching to a new insulin delivery system.
Five old and new ways to take insulin
#1: Needle and syringe
Even though there are lots of other ways to take insulin, a good old need and syringe remains the most common practice. This may be because some new insulin methods – like the insulin pen – only carry a pre-set amount of the drug.
Simply insert the needle into a vial, draw up the amount of insulin you need and inject into the tissue under your skin. You can use thinner needles or syringe magnifiers to make syringes easier to use if this is your preferred way of taking insulin.
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#2: Jet injector
If you have a phobia of needles, the jet injector (or jet injection) is a great choice for you as no needle is necessary. These devices use high pressure to send a very fine spray of insulin through your skin.
While jet injectors are the preferred way of many diabetics to take insulin, others say that it’s actually more painful than needles. It all comes down to your pain
#3: Insulin pen
The insulin pen can make life easier for diabetics with vision problems, as all you have to do is simply turn a dial. The device looks like a large pen, just with an insulin-dispensing needle rather than ink on the end. The pens contain a built-in cartridge that’s prefilled with insulin.
All you have to do is turn to your desired dose, press a plunger and inject. The dial makes a clicking noise as it turns, which makes it easy for you to measure out fewer units of insulin. After using up the insulin, replace the needle and cartridge.
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#4: Insulin pump
Insulin pumps deliver insulin all day. Attached to a catheter or small tube with a needle on the end, you insert the pump, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards into your skin (usually your abdomen) to deliver insulin.
Although it may sound easy, insulin pumps can sometimes be tricky to use – but practice makes perfect! These devices are best for people who need to take insulin a few times a day, like type 1 diabetics.
#5: Pump patch
Pump patches are basically insulin pumps that don’t use tubing to deliver insulin – instead, you attach them directly to your skin. The convenient thing about pump patches is that they’re wireless, so you can apply them to almost anywhere on your body.
Plus, pump patches are very easy to use and eliminate the need to carry a big pump around all the time.
PS: Want to know just how common it is for diabetics to skip insulin injections? Read this