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January 4, 2002

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA:

I am newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and I have read several articles on where to inject my insulin. The latest states that the abdomen area was preferred, but my doctor has indicated that upped thighs was better. Where is the best area to inject my insulin?


It is my bias that the abdomen provides the best area for injection of rapid-acting insulin. It has several advantages over other potential injection sites. First, the surface area is generally larger than other areas. This means you can spread the injections around without frequently using the same injection site, which helps prevent problems with lipohypertrophy in the future. Second, there is an advantage of onset of action. The abdomen has the most rapid onset of action of any of the other sites. Third, it is more consistent in that activities which periodically increase absorption are not affected when the abdomen is used. In clinical trials, injections over the abdomen have been associated with less variability over time. In summary, I agree with your bias toward the abdomen as the optimum injection site.