Insulin plays an important part of diabetes treatment. It can managing your blood sugar. There’s lots of new things happening when it come to ways to take it.
Needle and syringe
With this type of delivery system, you insert a needle into a vial, draw up the appropriate amount of insulin, and then inject into the subcutaneous space—the tissue just under your skin.
Even though there are other options, needles and syringes remain the most common way to take insulin. Some of the new insulin injection methods, such as the insulin pen, carry only a preset amount of insulin.
Thinner needles and other advancements, such as syringe magnifiers, have made syringes easier to use.
Have poor vision? You’re not alone.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.
Needle guides can help you keep the syringe or pen steady at the desired location and at the correct angle both for drawing up insulin out of the vial and injecting.
These devices are another example of innovations designed to help make insulin needles more palatable.
Syringe-filling devices allow a person with diabetes to load a syringe with a simple touch or sometimes to measure out dosages based on a “click” sound, as well as mix two different types of insulin together.
Spring-loaded syringe holders are another way to make insulin needles and syringes easier and less painful to use.
This device is like a large pen that has an insulin-dispensing needle on the end rather than ink. Unlike syringes, insulin pens contain a built-in insulin cartridge that is prefilled with the drug.
You turn a dial to the desired dose, press a plunger, and inject the insulin.
Once you have used up the insulin, you replace the cartridge. Some insulin pens can be discarded after the cartridge is empty, and replaced with a new pen.
These pens can be easier for people with diabetes-related vision problems, because you have to just turn a dial. Plus, the dial makes a clicking noise as it turns, which can help you measure out fewer units of insulin.
These devices deliver insulin all day. The pump is attached to a small tube or catheter with a needle on the end that is inserted in your skin, usually in your abdomen.
About the size of a deck of cards, the pump can be programmed to deliver insulin to cover meals too. “Pumps provide insulin all the time, and then you can give yourself a bolus every time you eat to keep your blood sugar down,” says Saleemah Fahmi, MD, an endocrinologist in Dallas.