April 18, 2008, Newsletter Issue #150: The Insulin Pen

Tip of the Week

For those with Type I Diabetes, insulin is a daily routine which can be both time-consuming and inconvenient.

You test your blood sugar, determine your insulin dose (if you are on sliding scale dosing), draw up your dose and inject. Then, if you have regularly scheduled insulin, you need to draw that up and inject it, too.

The task of drawing up insulin can be challenging for persons with:

* vision problems
* tremors
* numbness in the fingers or hands
* arthritis or other hand conditions

There is good news, however. Insulin pens are now available from most diabetes supply companies. The pens allow you to simply dial the correct dose of insulin for injection, rather than drawing it up with a syringe.

The pens have replaceable cartridges that contain insulin. Once inserted into the pen, you can administer several rounds of insulin injections before needing to change the cartridge, and without ever picking up a syringe.

This is especially helpful for elderly diabetics who have difficulty seeing the small numbers on an insulin syringe, may not have the dexterity to draw the correct dose, or have hand conditions that limit their fine motor control.

The Insulin Pens are covered by most insurances, and are easy to use.

If you would like more information about Insulin Pens, contact your physician or Diabetes Educator.

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