Gestational Diabetes: Giving Yourself Insulin Shots
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Insulin comes in small glass bottles (vials) and cartridges. Each type of container is sealed with a rubber lid. One vial or cartridge contains many doses. To remove a dose of insulin from:
Note: If you are using an insulin pen, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to use the pen correctly. Giving insulin with these pens is not covered in this information.
To give an insulin shot, the needle (attached to the syringe) is inserted through the skin. The medicine is pushed from the syringe into fatty tissue just below the skin. In pregnant women, insulin usually is given in the upper arm or thigh.
Your doctor may have you take two types of insulin at the same time. Most types of insulin that are prescribed to be taken at the same time can be mixed together in the same syringe.
Test Your Knowledge
To withdraw a single dose of insulin from a vial, I need to use a syringe.
To give a shot of insulin, the needle of the syringe is inserted into the skin, and the medicine is pushed into the fatty tissue just under the skin.
Normally, insulin is made by the pancreas. Insulin helps sugar (glucose) enter cells, where it is used for energy. It helps our bodies store extra sugar in muscles, fat, and liver cells. Later, that sugar can be released if it is needed. Without insulin, the body cannot use sugar, causing the blood sugar level to get too high.
If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin. If regular exercise and changing the way you eat do not keep your blood sugar level within a target range, you may need to take insulin. Keeping your blood sugar level within a target range prevents complications for you, for your developing baby (such as growing too large for normal delivery), and for your baby after birth (such as low blood sugar levels).
Test Your Knowledge
Your body does not provide enough insulin to meet your needs if you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Insulin shots help keep your blood sugar level within a target range, preventing problems for you and your baby.
Your doctor will help you learn to prepare and give yourself insulin shots. Here are some simple steps to help you learn how to do it.
To get ready to give an insulin shot, follow these steps:
Prepare the shot
Your preparation will depend on whether you are giving one type of insulin or mixing two types of insulin.
Prepare the site
Before giving your shot, take the time you need to do the following:
Give the shot
Follow these steps for giving an insulin shot:
Clean up and storage
After giving your shot:
Other suggestions for success and safety
To help you be safe and successful in giving your insulin shots:
Test Your Knowledge
Review the slideshow of steps for preparing a single dose of insulin. Give a copy of the steps to your doctor, certified diabetes educator (CDE), or other health professional and have him or her watch you prepare your dose of insulin. Ask the person to tell you how well you did. Repeat this process as many times as you need to.
Use the same process for preparing a mixed dose of insulin, if you need to take two types of insulin in one shot. Review the slideshow of steps for preparing a mixed dose of insulin.
Practice injecting air or water into an orange until you feel comfortable with the steps for giving insulin. Then repeat the steps in front of your nurse or certified diabetes educator, and ask him or her how you did. Practice more if you need to. If you feel you are ready, give yourself a dose of insulin while your doctor watches.
Answer these questions
The first step in preparing insulin from a bottle is to roll the bottle gently between your hands.
When you are preparing a cloudy and a clear insulin to give a mixed dose, which do you put into the syringe first?
Now that you have read this information, you are ready to start preparing and giving insulin shots.
Talk with your doctor or diabetes specialist
If you have questions about this information, take it with you when you visit your doctor or diabetes specialist.
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