There are two types of the diabetes - type 1 and type 2. Type 2, where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, is the most common. Type 1 accounts for sufferers whose bodies attack cells that produce insulin.
Sufferers of diabetes find that their body is unable to regulate its sugar levels correctly, which can result in symptoms such as feeling thirsty, urinating frequently and fatigue. To combat these and other serious health problems that can arise from diabetes many sufferers inject insulin - a hormone which allows your body to use and store glucose for energy.
Injecting insulin is a relatively minor procedure that is administered at home on a daily basis by millions of people with diabetes from across the world, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about hygiene. When embarking on any invasive medical procedure you need to make sure that any potential breeding grounds for germs are clean before you go ahead.
With that in mind, we’ve found five hygiene-specific tips you should really be aware of if you’re injecting insulin on a regular basis.
Wash your hands
It goes without saying that before injecting your own insulin you need to lather up. Get some soap rinse your hands in some warm water, making sure that you pay special attention to those areas between your fingers, under your nails and on the back of your hands.
Clean the area
A vital part of any insulin injection kit is alcohol wipes. These are used to swab down the area just before you inject yourself. Once you have selected your site, wipe it down and allow the area to dry for a few minutes. If you don’t the alcohol may cause the injection to sting a little more than it usually would.
Injecting repeatedly into the same site over a long period of time can cause an issue called lipodystrophy, which can interfere with the absorption of insulin. To avoid this from occurring it is recommended that you rotate where on your body you inject. Recommended areas for insulin injection include your stomach, thighs and upper arms.
Stop any bleeding
As you are injecting yourself, you may bleed a little when you remove the needle. This is common and nothing to worry about. If required apply a very light pressure and cover the area with a bandage.
Once you have finished injecting, make sure you dispose of your needle in the correct fashion. You may have been given a sharps container by your doctor, which you can use to safely get rid of any used needles and syringes.
If you have diabetes and inject regularly why not get in touch? We want to hear more about your experiences, such as what you have found easy and which elements you have found more difficult about dealing with diabetes and injecting? If you don’t have diabetes we’d still like to know how you’d feel if you had to inject yourself with insulin on a frequent basis.