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Your Health

Myths About Diabetes: Injecting Is Complicated

Posted: 1/11/2013

A 4mm pen needle helps simplify how patients inject insulin for diabetes treatment
A 4mm pen needle helps simplify how patients inject insulin for diabetes treatment.

(NAPSI)—According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 25.8 million Americans. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age but is most often diagnosed in children, teens or young adults. Type 2 most often occurs in adulthood. Treatment options can include diet, exercise and medication that may require multiple injections a day, such as insulin and GLP-1 incretins. For many people with diabetes, the idea of injecting insulin may seem complicated—but it doesn’t have to be. New injection options and recommendations are helping to simplify the injection process.

Shorter pen needles are one innovation that is making injection therapy easier—and more comfortable. Available with thinner gauges and modified needle tips, 4mm needles make it easier for patients to inject insulin, as most patients don’t need to “pinch up” the skin when injecting—a technique that is needed when using longer needles to avoid hitting the muscle with the needle. Needles as short as 4mm are effective for children as well as adult patients, including those with a high body mass index (BMI). Longer needles could go too deep into the patient’s body and actually deliver insulin into the muscle, where absorption could be unpredictable and potentially create unanticipated hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) conditions.

Not having to “pinch up” also enables patients to use just one hand when administering their injection treatments, which allows for more discreet injections. A one-handed injection technique also makes it possible to rotate to additional injection sites such as the upper arms and buttocks. Proper site rotation helps prevent lumps—often called “lipos”—from developing under the skin, which can occur when frequently injecting into the same site.

Recommendations from the American Association of Diabetes Educators emphasize the importance of selecting the shortest needle possible for insulin injections. To find out more about your options, ask your doctor about shorter needles. Visit www.bd.com/nano to see new needle innovations that improve the ease and comfort of injections.

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