The Basics Of Insulin Injection Sites On The Body – Where And How To Inject?

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Have you been suggested to take insulin injections but are finding it difficult to administer it? Insulin injections are often associated with a fear and frequently people with diabetes refrain from using it or talking about any difficulty in using these injections.

But you do not need to shy away anymore.  In this article we will try to help you get answers to all your questions that you may have about insulin injection.

What is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone that is secreted from the beta cells of pancreas. Insulin is mainly responsible for regulating blood glucose levels.

Sometimes when the body fails to produce adequate insulin or when the body fails to manage blood glucose levels with oral medications insulin injections are advised. Let us now understand when insulin injection is advised.

When to take insulin injection

Doctors may advise to take insulin for various reasons like for people having type 2 diabetes with high sugar, type 1 diabetes, pregnancy, infections etc. Administration of insulin is often associated with apprehension and myths. 

While you are confident about taking the injection often, a question that arises in people who take these injections is, when should I take my insulin shots

Well! Insulin can be taken depending on the type of insulin and type of diabetes. Sometimes insulin is injected before meals whereas for some people with diabetes insulin is recommended at bedtime. 

While insulin is usually administered through injections there are other ways too to administer insulin . Let us explore those ways.

What Are The Different Ways To Administer Insulin?

According to the CDC, there are mainly four ways to administer insulin. However the mode of administration of insulin varies for every person with diabetes. The four ways in which insulin can be administered include:

Insulin syringe

Insulin syringes are injections that are used to administer insulin. Generally these syringes are manufactured in 40 IU/100 IU. Based on the insulin that your body requires the doctor will administer you with these injections. However it is easier to use small syringes. 

The needles of these syringes are available in 6mm and 8mm sizes. Based on your blood glucose level fluctuations your doctor will suggest the best syringe and needle for you. These insulin syringes are for single use only.

Insulin pens

Insulin pens are reusable or can be discardable insulin administration devices. Generally these pens are discarded within a month after you start using them. A reusable insulin pen is a medical device used by people with diabetes to inject insulin. Unlike disposable insulin pens, which are discarded after use, reusable insulin pens can be used multiple times with the help of a replaceable insulin cartridge.

Whereas disposable insulin pens are pre-filled with insulin and are designed for single use. Disposable insulin pens are easy to use, convenient, and provide accurate dosing of insulin. They come in different sizes and types of insulin, allowing patients to choose the most suitable option for their needs.

Insulin pumps

An insulin pump is a small device that administers small doses of insulin based on its requirement in the body. The insulin pump is programmed to administer into the fatty tissue of the body through an infusion set. The infusion set  contains either a fine needle or a flexible cannula. This needle or cannula  is then inserted just below the skin. Into the adipose tissue The needle or cannula  is replaced every 3-4 days.

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What are the common insulin injection sites?

Once your doctor has advised you to inject, the first thing that comes is where is insulin injected? Well the common sites for injecting insulin are:


Abdomen is one of the most preferred insulin injection sites. Usually injecting insulin in the abdomen helps in better and quicker absorption of insulin. Generally a site between the bottom of your ribs and the pubic region is considered ideal. However one must not inject insulin around the 2-inch area surrounding the navel.

Besides the naval one must also avoid to inject insulin around or on scars, moles or in areas that have blemishes. Also one must avoid administering insulin in areas that have broken blood vessels or varicose veins. 

Outer Thigh

Outer high is also considered ideal for administering insulin through injections. Generally it is advised to administer insulin at least 4 inches below the groin or top of the leg and 4 inches above the knee. 

Upper arm

Upper arm is a possible site for insulin injection. Generally an insulin injection is administered halfway between the shoulder and the elbow. However difficulty to self inject makes the upper arm a less popular site for insulin injection. 

Although the above-mentioned body parts are common sites for insulin injection, one must avoid injecting at the same place as it may cause lipohypertrophy. Lipohypertrophy is a condition that develops due to the accumulation of fatty tissue in the area where the injections are frequently given.

The deposited fatty tissue usually interferes with the absorption of insulin into the bloodstream. This interference can make it difficult to manage diabetes.

Additionally injecting insulin at the same place can also cause skin irritation, discomfort, scarring and damage to the tissue, which can lead to infections and other complications.

To avoid these potential problems, healthcare providers recommend that insulin injections be rotated among several different injection sites.

How to inject insulin?

You must follow the following steps to make it easier to administer insulin through injection:

  1. Gather your supplies that are insulin, syringe, and a sharps container.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before administering insulin.
  3. Select the injection site. Ensure that the selected injection site must have adequate fatty tissues. Rotate your injection sites to avoid tissue damage.
  4. Assemble the syringe by attaching the needle to the syringe barrel.
  5. Load the insulin into the syringe according to your prescribed dosage.
  6. While administering the insulin at the injection site, hold the syringe like a pencil from one hand and use your other hand to pinch the skin at the injection site to create a fold.
  7. Insert the needle into the skin at a 90-degree angle, pushing it all the way in.
  8. Slowly push the plunger down to inject the insulin.
  9. Hold the needle in place for a few seconds before withdrawing it.
  10. Dispose of the needle in the sharps container.


With the number of people diagnosed with diabetes increasing each year, finding a way to properly manage your blood sugar levels is essential for living a healthy life.

Insulin injections have come in handy for people with diabetes who are finding it difficult to manage their blood glucose levels through medication.

Apart from insulin shots there are several other factors like exercise, diet, sleep and stress management that helps in managing blood glucose levels.

If you are finding it difficult to manage your blood sugar levels #WorryNot, Fitterfly’s programs like Fitterfly Weight Loss Program and Fitterfly Diabetes Care Program are designed just for you.

Our in-house expert coaches in the field of nutrition, physiotherapy and psychology understand the depths of health conditions like diabetes, prediabetes and weight loss. They will guide you with tips, tricks and practical personalized solutions on ways to effectively manage your diet, exercise, sleep and stress.

Speak with us and see how we make it possible for you.  

If you have any more questions about insulin injection, please feel free to contact us.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team
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