Know how to im­prove your own di­a­betic care

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Michelle Robbins

IN 2014, an es­ti­mated 422 mil­lion peo­ple worldwide were liv­ing with di­a­betes, with a fur­ther 46% of peo­ple cur­rently un­di­ag­nosed. These are star­tling fig­ures from World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion. In Aus­tralia, di­a­betes is the fastest grow­ing chronic con­di­tion, in­creas­ing at a higher rate than heart dis­ease and can­cer, with 1.7 mil­lion peo­ple al­ready di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes and a fur­ther 280 peo­ple are de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease ev­ery day. That’s one Aus­tralian ev­ery five min­utes. With these sta­tis­tics in mind, con­sis­tent and fre­quent con­ver­sa­tions with your health care pro­fes­sion­als are nec­es­sary, to help op­ti­mise your di­a­betes treat­ment out­comes while im­prov­ing di­a­betes care.


It’s im­por­tant that all el­e­ments of di­a­betes care are recog­nised and ev­ery­one is given af­ford­able and eq­ui­table ac­cess to care. One el­e­ment of di­a­betes care that of­ten gets pushed to the side, is a cor­rect in­jec­tion tech­nique, which is thought to be as­sumed knowl­edge. Even peo­ple who have been in­ject­ing their di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion for many years, can de­velop poor in­jec­tion tech­nique or in­con­sis­ten­cies when ad­min­is­ter­ing their med­i­ca­tion. This can im­pact on blood glu­cose lev­els and re­sult in ad­verse out­comes. There­fore, it’s im­por­tant to keep di­a­betes care top of mind and give the com­mu­nity ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion so that they can bet­ter man­age their di­a­betes and im­prove their health out­comes. Peo­ple with di­a­betes are en­cour­aged to ini­ti­ate con­ver­sa­tions with their health­care pro­fes­sion­als to stay up-to-date with best in­jec­tion prac­tice to en­sure their di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion is be­ing ad­min­is­tered cor­rectly.


In the past, the fo­cus for man­ag­ing di­a­betes has gen­er­ally been on the type or dose of in­jectable di­a­betes medicine, with­out fully ap­pre­ci­at­ing that cor­rect in­jec­tion tech­nique can also have a pro­found ef­fect. Based on the lat­est clin­i­cal rec­om­men­da­tions, the use of short pen nee­dles (4mm or 5mm) is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent for a pos­i­tive in­jec­tion ex­pe­ri­ence. Short nee­dles can re­duce the risk of in­ject­ing di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion into a mus­cle which can af­fect how your med­i­ca­tion works and im­pact your blood glu­cose lev­els.


Di­a­betes health care pro­fes­sion­als have been ac­tively pro­mot­ing the use of shorter nee­dles for sev­eral years. This has been due to a

va­ri­ety of rea­sons – all equally im­por­tant: Longer 6mm, 8mm and 12mm pen nee­dles are as­so­ci­ated with a greater risk of de­liv­er­ing di­a­betes medicine into mus­cle rather than the in­tended fatty layer just be­low the skin. In­ject­ing into mus­cle also can re­sult in bruis­ing, bleed­ing and in­creased pain. The length of the nee­dle can be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in terms of the de­gree of emo­tional dis­tress around in­ject­ing. Of­ten peo­ple with di­a­betes who are over­weight, be­lieve they should use a longer nee­dle (6mm or 8mm), with­out un­der­stand­ing that their skin thick­ness is the same as peo­ple with a healthy BMI. Many peo­ple with di­a­betes are sim­ply unaware that short (4mm and

5mm) pen nee­dles exist and may pro­vide

a more com­fort­able in­jec­tion ex­pe­ri­ence. This might not sound im­por­tant, how­ever, if you’re a per­son pro­gress­ing from one in­jec­tion a day to four, in­jec­tion com­fort can make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to man­ag­ing your di­a­betes. The num­ber one goal is to en­sure that in­jectable di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion is de­liv­ered in the right tis­sue space, at the right time, in the right way, ev­ery time. In keep­ing with this goal, a num­ber of in­jec­tion tech­niques, which is a set of ‘Golden Rules’, have been de­vel­oped by an in­ter­na­tional group of di­a­betes ex­perts from 54 coun­tries for adults and chil­dren, which aim to: • min­imise un­ex­plained hy­po­gly­caemia • as­sist in pro­vid­ing a more sta­ble range of blood glu­cose level re­sults • im­prove in­jec­tion com­fort and ad­her­ence to ther­apy.

Cor­rect in­jec­tion tech­nique can make an im­por­tant dif­fer­ence to blood glu­cose lev­els and help peo­ple man­age their di­a­betes more eas­ily with im­proved di­a­betic care. To bet­ter un­der­stand the var­i­ous com­po­nents of cor­rect in­jec­tion tech­nique, sim­ply strike up a con­ver­sa­tion with your doc­tor or di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor. Col­lab­o­ra­tion with your health­care pro­fes­sional will pro­vide you with the nec­es­sary sup­port to op­ti­mise your treat­ment out­comes and may make man­ag­ing your di­a­betes a lit­tle eas­ier.


• In­jec­tion tech­nique is a fun­da­men­tal el­e­ment for im­prov­ing di­a­betes care which of­ten gets pushed aside.

• Short pen nee­dles (4mm or 5mm) not only pro­vide a more com­fort­able in­jec­tion ex­pe­ri­ence but can re­duce the risk of in­ject­ing di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion into a mus­cle, im­pact­ing blood glu­cose lev­els.

• The ‘Golden Rules’ of in­jec­tion tech­nique have been de­vel­oped for adults and chil­dren to help peo­ple man­age their di­a­betes more eas­ily.

Michelle Robbins has been a Cre­den­tialed Di­a­betes Ed­u­ca­tor since 1993 and is cur­rently em­ployed as the Nurse Prac­ti­tioner Di­a­betes at North­ern Health in Vic­to­ria. She is a mem­ber of the Deakin Uni­ver­sity Con­joint Aca­demic staff and has pro­duced sev­eral clin­i­cal guide­lines and po­si­tion state­ments for the Aus­tralian Di­a­betes Ed­u­ca­tors As­so­ci­a­tion.

Al­ways con­sult your health­care pro­fes­sional re­gard­ing treat­ment of your di­a­betes.

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