Diabetes and Insulin Injection: 4 Strategies to Curb Fear of Pain

Insulin is a hormone that helps transport glucose molecules from the bloodstream to cells. It is produced by beta cells in the pancreas. People with type 2 diabetes, in most cases, will need to inject insulin to stop the progression of the disease.

For patients who have been self-injecting for a long time, the fear of pain is less significant. However, if you were just given a diabetes diagnosis and the doctor is about to recommend an injectable treatment, the fear of pain can overwhelm you. This is exactly when you should learn certain tips below that will help overcome the fear of needle pain.

#1. Breathe deeply

Various studies show breathing deeply during the period of anxiety and fear can mitigate discomfort and promote relaxation. Moreover, deep breaths for a few minutes can reduce the symptoms of anxiety, like increased heart rate, dry mouth, and tingling in hands or feet. A few minutes before injecting, take long deep breaths for at least 2 minutes.

#2. Select the right needle

Isn’t that large needle scarier than a small one? Ask for a needle that looks small and thin, if you can. Studies suggest that smaller, thinner needles are less likely to stimulate pain perception than larger, thicker needles. Note that needle size has very little to do with the actual pain – this is mostly a psychological trick. The pain is more in the mind than on the skin, right?

#3. Talk to your doctor

It is essentially your doctor’s responsibility to assess pain potential before initiating injectable therapy. Nonetheless, you should participate actively in your treatment. Discuss similar past experiences you’ve had with the injectable treatments. Then, your doctor can ask you a few questions to gauge how you perceive pain.

#4. Remember – the complications of diabetes outweigh your fear

Recall that uncontrolled blood glucose levels in diabetes have many potentially fatal complications. While the fear of injection is natural, there is no way you can continue your life without injecting insulin.


[expand title=”References“]

  1. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. URL Link. Retrieved November 6, 2017.


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