No way can diabetics escape the fact that insulin delivery devices are important to their lives as they depend upon insulin doses to get their bodies to function well every day. Fortunately, they are choices in the ways of getting insulin into the body through the skin. Below is some brief but informative description of the options available.
For almost a century, since 1922 when insulin was discovered, the only method of getting insulin into the body of a type 1 diabetic is through an injection using a syringe. Although, other methods of getting insulin into the body have been introduced, the syringe remains the most widely used insulin injection device. An improvement most appreciated by diabetics is the development of needles which are thinner and shorter; resulting in less pain during injections.
The insulin pump is a gadget that enables a steady supply of insulin using a tubing with a plastic needle inserted into the body through the skin, usually at the stomach. When more insulin is required, as after a big meal, it can also be pumped in manually. Batteries are used to operate insulin pumps which is about the size of a beeper. With their small size it is easy to carry around in pockets, in pouches or attached to a belt. The latest model is even better with the pump and plastic needle stuck to the skin.
Despite studies indicating approval of its use in blood sugar control, insulin pumps do need careful management and the price is very high. You have to choose wisely.
It is a pen with a needle instead of a nib and that is the reason they call it an insulin pen. It is more convenient to use as the pen comes with a cartridge of insulin in place.Â So there is no injection of air into a separate vial before withdrawing the plunger of the syringe to pull in the insulin. Instead, you dial to a needed dose, push the needle into the skin and inject the insulin into the body. You only have to change to a new needle before each injection. The pen continues to be used until the cartridge is empty. There are available pens with cartridges which can be replaced. The dose for many pens can be full or only half units. Most diabetics prefer insulin pens to syringes.
Of all the Insulin delivery devices covered, only one does not use the needle to inject insulin into the body( see How to Give an Insulin Injection). Instead this jet injector uses high pressure to deliver a mass of very fine drops of insulin into the skin. It was thought a spray would be not as painful as a needle. Unfortunately, it proved otherwise and many found this method of using a handheld gadget employing strong pressure to deliver a spray of insulin through the layer of skin even more painful than the needle. Since most insurance companies are reluctant to give the jet injector coverage and it has proved to be painful, it is the least popular of all the insulin delivery devices.
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Your choice of the insulin delivery devices covered in this overview should be the one you prefer so that you would constantly use it to control your blood sugar level.