Diabetes has today become rampant among both men and women all across the globe. It is imperative to know more about the disease and the various ways and means of managing the same. Let us first begin by understanding the very meaning of diabetes. Diabetes is a disease which is caused either due to the lack of proper production of insulin by the pancreas or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body. This gives rise to the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body since the hormone insulin is responsible for the essential breakdown of carbohydrates and fats which, in turn, help in maintaining the required level of sugar and glucose in the blood.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas of the body which is responsible for producing insulin are unable to do so. Hence, in type 1, administering of the hormone through external sources is more common when compared to in type 2 which is caused due to the body’s inability to efficiently utilize the Insulin so produced. There are various ways in which Insulin can be injected- by using Insulin pens, syringes, artificial pumps etc.
In this article, we shall learn about Insulin syringes, the advantages, and disadvantages of using them. Insulin syringes were the first known source through which the hormone was injected into the body of the diabetes patient. Join in for the article “Insulin Syringes for Diabetes: Their advantages and Disadvantages.”
Table of Contents
What is an Insulin Syringe?
As we know, diabetes is caused when the body does not have enough Insulin or the Insulin produced by the body is not working efficiently. Hence, there are external sources through which the hormone should be injected into the body. One of the methods of doing the same is by using an Insulin syringe.
Let us now understand what is an Insulin syringe. Before other ways of administering Insulin were introduced, Insulin syringes were the most common way of providing the much-needed Insulin to a diabetic patient. When understanding about the Insulin syringes, we need to know that there are three different parts of these syringes. They are:
- The Needle: It is made up of silicone so that the syringe is able to pass through the patient’s skin easily while administering Insulin in the patient’s body.
- The Barrel: It is essentially the chamber which is used to hold the hormone. There are numbers marked throughout the barrel which helps to read the total units of Insulin.
- The Plunger: The Plunger is the rod which is present in the syringe. You can move this part back and forth easily. It is used to either hold Insulin inside the barrel or to administer Insulin through the needle into the patient’s body.
Who can Use the Insulin Syringe?
Normally, the Insulin syringe can be used by any diabetic patient who has been recommended to take Insulin by a medical expert. However, depending on the type and brand, not all types of Insulin can be used through the source of Insulin syringe. Hence, one needs to be careful while choosing the same. Type 1 diabetes is caused due to the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Hence, type 1 patients are mostly prescribed the intake of the hormone. Having said that, doctors may also prescribe type 2 diabetes patients to take Insulin through external sources as well and of them could be through the Insulin syringe.
However, experts prescribe the following size of Insulin depending on the age and type of patients:
- If you are a diabetic patient who needs a very small dosage of Insulin, a 0.25 ML or 0.33 ML syringe size is best suitable for you. This type of Insulin syringe is particularly prescribed to children suffering from diabetes.
- A 1 ML syringe size is prescribed to patients who are adults as they need a higher dosage of the hormone.
How do Insulin Syringes Work?
Let us now understand the working of the Insulin syringe. First, the syringe needle needs to be uncapped. The plunger is moved so that the syringe is filled with air. Now the needle needs to be inserted into the vial. Using the plunger, the air should be moved into the vial. The plunger of the syringe now needs to be pulled back to fill the hormone into the syringe. After that, the syringe needs to be put out of the vial so that the extra hormone, if any, is dropped out of it. Post that, using the needle, the syringe needs to be inserted into any part of the body of the diabetic patient where there is fat. All parts of our body, except the forehead, consists of fat. Pushthe plunger, and the Insulin will now be injected into the patient’s body completely.
Guide in Using the Insulin Syringe
The following points will help you better in understanding Insulin syringes and how the same can be used effectively to administer the hormone into the patient’s body.
- It is the abdomen area which absorbs Insulin the best.
- Also, remember to not use the syringe repeatedly at one area.
- 100-unit syringe stands for 2 unit of the hormone per line.
- Use a syringe which will help you take the largest dose of Insulin.
- Make sure that the markings are clear.
- The standard size of a needle is ½ an inch.
- It is prescribed that if you need 30-units of Insulin, use a 30 unit syringe and if you need 50 units or less of Insulin, you need to use 50-unit of the syringe.
Advantages of Using Insulin Syringe
Let us now delve into the advantages the Insulin Syringes offer to the users:
- Since these are the most common external sources of administering Insulin into a diabetics’ body, the Insulin syringes are easily available and no special effort is required to learn the usage of the same.
- Like the Insulin pens, Insulin syringes are also considered safe and easy to use. Once you understand how these syringes work, it becomes very convenient to use them.
- These are also portable and can be carried anywhere the diabetic patient goes.
- Besides, Insulin syringes can be used to administer Insulin into the diabetics’ body without any kind of pain.
- Since the patient has to first take Insulin from an Insulin bottle, it is possible for the patient to use different types of Insulin when he or she is using Insulin syringes. Such an option is not available in case of Insulin pens.
- Insulin syringes are more affordable when compared to some of the other methods of administering Insulin such as Insulin pens, etc.
- Hereby, the wastage of Insulin is also restricted as the units of Insulin needed can be easily read in the barrel of the syringe and only the required amount should be taken out from the Insulin bottle.
Disadvantages of Insulin Syringes
The Insulin syringe may not be preferred by all the diabetic patients due to the disadvantages while using the syringes. Following are some of the disadvantages of using Insulin syringe:
- When a patient is using Insulin syringe, he or she might have to carry both the Insulin bottle and the needle along with him or her. This makes the usage of syringe quite uncomfortable, particularly while the patient is traveling.
- If the number on the barrel of the Insulin syringe is not magnified or clearly read, the patient may end up taking an incorrect dosage of Insulin. This could pose particular concerns for the diabetic patients who also suffer from the problem of blurred vision due to diabetes.
- Although the syringes allow for different types of insulin to be mixed, only a few varieties can be mixed and not all.
- Sometimes, it might be difficult for the patient to understand the working of the Insulin syringe. Not everyone will be able to understand the readings on the syringe barrel which indicates the units of the hormone that will be taken.
- Finally, another disadvantage of the Insulin syringes is that you need to know the exact technique with which these syringes work. If you are not comfortable with the technique, it is recommended to not use these syringes to administer Insulin into the diabetic patient’s body.
Tips to be Kept in Mind While Choosing an Insulin Syringe
There are several types of Insulin syringes that are today available in the market. If we need to manage diabetes properly and effectively, the right amount of Insulin dosage from the right source is of prime importance. As such, it is imperative that we choose the source of administering the hormone into our body with great care!
Keep the following factors in mind while trying to choose the Insulin syringe for yourself or for someone you know:
- The first point to be kept in mind is that the size of the syringe that you choose is the smallest syringe which is big enough for the largest dose of Insulin that you may require.
- Small syringes are always preferred to the large ones because the measuring lines in the small syringes barrels can be easily read with greater accuracy.
- While choosing a syringe size, see the number of units of Insulin that you need and make a choice accordingly.
- There are numbers written in the barrel of the syringe. Hence, you need to consider what is the size in which these numbers are written. Are they magnified or not and are these numbers comfortable enough for someone who is visually challenged?
- You also need to consider the quality of the material with which the needle of the syringe has been made.
- What is the level of convenience with which the syringe can be used? For example, if it is too difficult to operate, it may not be useful for old or visually impaired diabetes patients.
- While choosing an Insulin syringe to make sure to see how difficult or convenience it is to correct a mistake that you might have made.
- Finally, It is also important to know how to dispose of the syringe after every use. The syringe may cause a lot of unwanted viruses and as such, should be disposed of in a sharps container which is dedicated for this very purpose.
We hope that the above post has been helpful in educating and enhancing your knowledge about the Insulin syringes, how to use them for administering the hormone, and what are the associated advantages and disadvantages of using the same. Do keep the factors and tips in mind while taking a decision of going for a particular type and size of Insulin syringe while trying to manage your diabetes. While using an Insulin syringe, the size of the needle holds prime importance. Also, remember to consult a medical practitioner when you chose the Insulin syringe for administering Insulin inside the body!!