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July 23, 2003

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Chandigarh, India:

What is the best site for giving insulin injections?

Answer:

The best places to inject are at various sites, commonly the outer thighs, buttocks, lower abdomen and upper outer arms.

JS

[Editor’s comment: Insulin is absorbed differently for different injection sites. It is most rapidly absorbed from the abdomen, next from the arms, and most slowly from the thighs and buttocks. Which site to use is dependent on a number of things. For example, if you want your insulin to work more quickly, you would choose the abdomen, whereas, if you want it to work more slowly, you’s probably select the buttocks.

Two other things to keep in mind. First of all, it is probably not a good idea to inject into an area which will b exercised soon after the injection. This could speed up absorption and cause hypoglycemia. Secondly, it is important to rotate injection sites. Failure to due so can lead to lipohypertrophy and/or lipoatrophy both of which cause insulin not to be used properly.

SS]