Injection sites for insulin injections

Insulin injections are meant to be given beneath the skin (subcutaneously) or in the fatty tissue, such as abdomen, thighs or back of the arms.

The reason insulin is injected in subcutaneous tissue is, this layer is poorly supplied by nerves causing less pain or discomfort, moreover, presence of fatty tissue causes absorption of insulin slowly resulting in less episodes of hypos.

⁃ In newly diagnosed patients with type 1 diabetes, there is so much difficulty in choosing injection sites for insulin (syringes or pens).Following is the short description of all the preferred sites for insulin injection.

1. Abdomen-

This is the most common used site for insulin injections because it is very easy to access and causes less discomfort as compared to other sites.

It should be about 2 inches away from the belly button.

This site has the fastest absorption and thus recommended for boluses or meal time injection which lowers post meal blood sugar levels faster.

2. Thighs-

This is the another most preferred site, usually the outer part of the thighs is recommended as it has the thickest layer of fatty tissue.

3. Upper arm-

Back of the arms is also recommended similar to thighs. Outer part of arms is preferable because of presence of thick fatty tissue. Sometimes, this site becomes difficult to use, as accessing fatty tissue in the back of arms becomes less accessible in some patients and needs assistance of other person.

Rate of absorption in different sites ( fastest to slowest )

Abdomen > Back of arms > Outer part of thighs

Angle of insertion for insulin injections-

Usually, 90° angle is preferred so as to inject in the fat layer of your injection site. Any deviation in your angle may change the tissue in which you are injecting the insulin ( there are some other factors also like the length of your needle that changes the recepting tissue ).

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