Type 1 diabetes
All of the well known diabetes websites have lots of information about insulin, including how to use insulin, how to store it, etc - for example:
- DiabetesUK - Insulin
- Patient.co.uk - Information about insulin
- NHS Choices – treatment of Type 1 diabetes andmedicine guide
- NICE - Diabetes and insulin pump therapy
- The Diabetes.co.uk web-site has lots of useful information on all aspects of diabetes, for example: Type 1 - Insulin Diabetes medication
Further support for people who use insulin pumps can be found by clicking these links:
It is really important use a different site each time when you inject, to avoid damaging any of these parts of your body. In particular, damage would affect how well the insulin is absorbed, which would in turn affect your blood sugar control.
If the skin looks shiny and tense, and feels hard and “rubbery” at any of the sites, then avoid injecting there until those signs disappear
Disposing of used needles and other sharps
If you are being treated with insulin, you will need a “sharps bin” (a specially designed rigid box with a lid) to dispose of your needles safely. Sharps bins are available on prescription from your GP or pharmacist. In some areas, they are issued by the local council.
Different arrangements are in place for having your full sharps bin replaced with an empty one, and your practice nurse will be able to advise you on the system used at your surgery or in your area.
You can read more about the need for sharps boxes and advice about needle safety on the following websites:
From 2012, adult patients being treated with insulin should receive a patient information booklet and an Insulin Passport, which they can choose to carry with them.
The insulin passport is a credit-card sized paper record that gives details about:
- the insulin, pens, and syringes that you use
- emergency information that tells people what to do if you are found ill or unconscious and
- other information that would be useful in an emergency, eg contact details and information about other medication you may be taking.
If you would like to have an insulin passport, talk to your GP or practice nurse about it.