Diabetes needle anxiety and insulin injection tips
Giving injections can be overwhelming or scary. Learn how to be more confident about performing injections with this guide.
A key to good diabetes management is awareness of yourself and your surroundings. By paying attention to how your body can react in different situations and careful planning, you can continue to be active in all types of environments and situations.
Many people can manage their diabetes without being affected at work. However, a full work day may mean that you struggle with eating healthy, taking medication or keeping your blood sugar stable. Here are some things you can do to feel your best in the workplace.
Having an insulin injection routine can mean making accommodations to make sure you are able to check your blood sugar and take your medication when needed. Read on to find out what you can or should do when injecting insulin in different situations.
You may not feel like checking your blood sugar levels or injecting your diabetes medication when you are sick. However, it is really important that you continue to do this to keep your diabetes under control.
Your blood sugar levels can rise when you’re ill, so keep checking and adjust your insulin dose if necessary. If you are nauseous or vomiting, you may not be taking in enough carbohydrates (sugar). When you do not eat and take your insulin, you are at risk of getting low blood sugar. Try sipping sugary drinks or eating a little ‘easy’ food, such as soup or ice cream, or suck on sugar tablets.
Generally, it is a good idea to take your insulin pen, a mobile phone and a sugary snack with you when exercising so that you are prepared in case of emergencies. Make sure you are wearing a medical alert that tells others you are on insulin.
Also, make sure you are not exposing the insulin in your pen to extreme temperatures (>25°C, <4°C), such as by leaving it in the sun or next to a frosty playing field.
Before starting any exercise programme, however, speak to your diabetes health care professional and ask for their advice. They will probably give you a general check-up and tell you how to adjust your food and medication, including insulin, to balance your blood sugar control accordingly.
To find out more about managing diabetes with exercise, read our section on getting active.
It is perfectly alright to continue to inject into your tummy as long as you can still pinch the skin or you are using a very short needle. If you are concerned, use other fatty areas such as your thighs, upper arms (only if advised) or buttocks.