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From St. Francis, Minnesota, USA:

My father's diabetes is out of control and his doctor recommended that he take an insulin shot twice a day, but my father won't because he hates needles. I am very worried about him because he is very sick from the diabetes. Is there an easier way for my father to get insulin without giving himself the shot? With technology these days, is there any thing easier coming in the future?


I think it is best to consider what is currently available for his care now, rather than counting on what may come down the road. The only way to give insulin without insulin injections is with a device known as a jet injector. This uses a technology similar to that used for mass inoculations. The insulin is pushed under the skin with a high speed injecting device that is needleless. Although it is needleless, it is not pain-free. There is also the issue of skin trauma and infection with repeated use.

Down the road, we will have inhaled insulin if it turns out to be safe. At this point, it has been shown to be capable of decreasing blood sugars around meals. However, you will still have to take a long-acting insulin injection. The primary safety issue with inhaled insulin is the tolerability of inhaling the insulin (a small protein) over years.


[Editor's comment: There is no need for injections to be painful. Using a new syringe for each injection will help. In addition, make sure he uses g the finest gauge needle possible. He also might try using the Inject-Ease which essentially does the injection and helps many who have a needle phobia. Your father should also try ELA-Max to numb the area prior to the injection.

I would also consider asking the doctor for a visiting nurse referral to help him out initially. An alternative might be for you (and/or other family members) to learn to do the injection and give your father his insulin until he becomes less fearful. SS]

Original posting 30 Sep 2002
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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