How is insulin injected to treat diabetes?

To treat diabetes, insulin is injected into the fatty tissue layer under the skin on the abdomen using either a syringe or insulin pen and a small needle.
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Most people use needles to inject insulin. Most types of needles are coated to minimize pain while injecting. Insulin pens have fine, short needles that inject insulin from prefilled cartridges by pushing a plunger. Insulin jet injectors use high-pressure air rather than needles to inject the insulin.

An insulin pump, worn outside the body, has tubing that delivers the insulin to a catheter (a small tube) under the skin of the abdomen. The pump is programmed to deliver a steady supply of insulin, and can deliver extra insulin after meals or when blood glucose is high. The pump provides maximum control of blood glucose, which is known to reduce the rate of diabetes complications.

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Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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