If you have type 1 diabetes or are an insulin-dependent type 2 patient, you’ll know how tricky it can be to get your daily injections right. From injection site selection and rotation to avoiding accidentally injecting into a muscle, there’s a lot to remember – and then of course, there’s the general ouch factor.
Getting your insulin injections right
Here at GlucoRx, we’re proud to support the Injection Technique Matters guidelines, because we know that getting injection technique right makes a big difference to overall blood sugar control.
To that end, we’re proud to promote our extensive range of insulin pen needles:
- A complete size range of FinePoint and CarePoint pen needles
- Universal fit on all insulin delivery pens
- FinePoint needles use quintapoint (5 bevel needle tip) technology (except 10mm + 12mm sizes) for a higher level of comfortable injection.
Safe use of insulin pen needles
Our universal fit FinePoint and CarePoint pen needles are incredibly easy to use. First of all, check with your healthcare practitioner to be sure you’re using the most suitable pen needle length.
Once you have the correct pen needle size, follow these simple steps:
1. Wash and dry your hands.
2. Remove your insulin pen cap. For cloudy insulin, roll between the palms of your hands 10 times and gently invert the pen 10 times.
3. Select a new FinePoint or CarePoint needle and attach it to the pen; remove the protective cap.
4. Test that the pen is working by selecting 2 units. Hold the pen upright and press the button to release the dose; watch to see that insulin appears at the needlepoint. If it does not, repeat the process until it does.
5. Dial the required dose on the pen.
6. Select an injection site. The most commonly used sites are the abdomen, outer thighs, upper arms or buttocks, but check with your healthcare practitioner who can advise on the best sites for you to use. Remember to rotate your injection sites.
7. Pinch your skin into a fold and fully insert the needle at 90 degrees to your skin.
8. Press the button to release the dose, holding the pen still.
9. Don’t forget to count to 10 before removing the needle, to ensure the full dose is delivered!
10. Remove the pen and take off the needle, safely disposing of it in a sharps bin.
Can I reuse insulin pen needles?
No, you should never reuse insulin pen needles. If you do, you risk the needle bending or breaking – and besides, a blunt needle makes for a more painful injection.
Why do my insulin injections hurt, bruise or bleed?
Bruising or bleeding at the injection site, although unpleasant, is not dangerous. Remember to rotate your injection sites and if you experience pain, bruising or bleeding often, review your injection technique with your healthcare practitioner.
What is lipohypertrophy?
Lipohypertrophy is a thickened area of fatty tissue which can develop at an injection site. It is important not to continue to inject into a “lipo” as the insulin absorption will be erratic, potentially leading to hypos and other complications. Ask your healthcare provider to teach you how to check for any developing “lipo” patches; these can usually be avoided through good injection technique.
If you’ve been injecting for a while, you probably don’t give much thought to your injection technique – but a combination of our Insulin pen needle offering and proper technique will help to minimise complications and maximise your wellbeing. Injection technique really does matter!
When you experience hypoglycaemia, it’s important to act fast to restore your blood glucose to a safe level before your condition worsens and becomes dangerous. GlucoRx Torq Gel is a specialist fast-acting carbohydrate gel which was developed based on scientific research from peer-reviewed findings and has been specifically designed to raise blood sugar quickly and safely.
What is hypoglycaemia?
Hypoglycaemia occurs when blood sugar drops to a very low level; it’s often referred to as having a “hypo”. During hypoglycaemia, you may experience shakiness, weakness, confusion, sleepiness, shivering, sweating and hunger. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be the result.
What’s in GlucoRx Torq Gel?
GlucoRx Torq Gel contains a blend of two sugars, maltodextrin and fructose in a 2:1 ratio, together with five key electrolytes: potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. Each pack contains 3 x 23.5g sachets, enough to treat three hypos.
How does it work?
All carbohydrate gels work by delivering carbohydrates into the bloodstream via two intestinal transporters, one for glucose and one for fructose. However, these transporters can only work up to certain maximum rates. Glucose can only be absorbed at a maximum rate of 60g per hour, or 1g per minute. Fructose can be absorbed at a maximum rate of 30g per hour, or 0.5g per minute. By combining maltodextrin (a glucose derivative) and fructose, GlucoRx Torq Gel allows optimal carbohydrate delivery for quick relief of symptoms. Together, these two sugars can be absorbed at 90g per hour or 1.5g per minute – that’s over 40% better than a single glucose source, meaning that your blood sugar levels will rise faster. It is these two different transporters that allow the fast absorption of GlucoRx Torq Gel.
Super-fast carbohydrate delivery when you need it most
Research shows that swilling a carbohydrate gel around your mouth triggers an important physiological response: this action sends signals to your brain, telling it to expect a sugar delivery, and thus starting to ease symptoms even faster – GlucoRx Torq Gel starts to work before you’ve even swallowed it.
Convenience, discretion and a great taste too
The small tubes are easy to carry with you in a purse, wallet or pocket, and very easy to open and use. Simply tear the top off the tube, squeeze the contents into your mouth and swill for five seconds before swallowing. Discreet and convenient, GlucoRx Torq Gel also tastes great too – using natural flavourings, the gel is available in black cherry yoghurt or raspberry ripple flavour. It contains no artificial colours or sweeteners. The silky-smooth gel is easy to swallow – a no mess, no fuss, fast and simple solution for a hypo.
Using GlucoRx Torq Gel safely
GlucoRx Torq Gel is not suitable for children under 2 years old. It must not be given to anyone who is unconscious, due to risk of choking. If someone with diabetes falls unconscious, call 999 immediately. GlucoRx Torq Gel is designed to treat occasional hypos, but it is not a substitute for good diabetes control. If you are experiencing hypoglycaemia frequently, having trouble controlling your blood sugar or are worried about your diabetes for any other reason, consult your GP as soon as possible.
A blood glucose meter designed to increase the accuracy of readings by measuring haematocrit has outperformed three other devices (Accu-Chek Aviva, Caresens Dual and GlucoMen Areo 2K), according to a study published by Swansea University in January 2019.
Haematocrit, the volume percentage of red blood cells in blood, is known to influence glucose values obtained by blood glucose meters. Most other meters estimate haematocrit levels, and this can lead to an overestimate or underestimated variation.
It is well known that certain population groups (young, pregnant, patients undergoing specific treatments) have varying haematocrit levels; this can
The GlucoRx HCT meter, specifically designed with insulin users in mind, facilitates a wider health check by measuring haematocrit and blood glucose levels as well as ketones, providing a more reliable result. It does this through Haematocrit Correction Technology (HCT) and a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology by Swansea University put this technology to the test by comparing the accuracy of the meter with three others.
This study compared capillary blood samples from 100 people and compared to the plasma values obtained by reference laboratory analyser.
The researchers concluded that the performance of GlucoRx HCT meter “had the best performance due to the haematocrit correction technology employed within this meter.”
To access the study titled ‘Comparative Accuracy Evaluation of a Blood Glucose Meter With Novel Haematocrit Correction Technology, With Three Currently Used Commercially Available Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems’ click here.
GlucoRx is very pleased to sponsor and unconditionally support this first edition of the “‘Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care”. Achieving the best injection technique possible enhances the lives of the many people living with diabetes having to medicate with injectables, helping them to obtain the best possible (and individualised) outcomes and to minimise the risks involved. It is vitally important for them to be taught correctly from the outset and to have access to the most relevant information. The contents of this document will allow healthcare professionals to access the latest research and to promote the importance of adhering to the latest recommendations on injection technique. Promoting best practice plays a core role in GlucoRx’s day to day activities and helping to disseminate these practical guidelines could not be more in line with our company’s ethos.
Learn more here:
ITM ToolKit Guide:
Ketones are a vital indicator in your diabetes management, and regular testing might be the best way to make sure it’s under control. If your body is insulin deficient your ketone levels will start to increase, and if they get too high you will be at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. If not treated, DKA can pose a danger to organs, induce coma and eventually cause death.
You might need to test for ketones if you are a person with Type 1, and it might also be recommended for people with advanced Type 2 diabetes and other types of insulin-dependent diabetes. Testing can be carried out at home and kits are available on NHS prescription.
What is a ketone testing kit?
The most accurate method of ketone testing is a meter that measures the concentration of ketones in your blood. There are a few blood glucose meters available on the NHS that can do this, as well as measuring blood glucose levels, so it’s a handy two-for-one solution. Most standard meters have a digital readout, a battery power source and an internal memory. Many new meters can link to an app on your smartphone to receive and store your data and may come with a USB rechargeable battery unit.
Ketone levels can also be measured with a urine test, but this is less accurate since it shows ketone levels only after it has been excreted by the kidneys (which takes several hours).
When should I test my ketone levels?
If you suffer from any form of insulin-dependent diabetes you should take a ketone test if you are feeling ill and displaying any DKA symptoms. You should also test if you see that your blood sugar levels have risen to more than 15 mmol/L.
How to do the ketone test
The test for ketones is conducted in much the same way as a blood glucose test, and may well use the same test meter, making sure a different type of test strip is inserted.
- Insert a blood ketone test strip into the meter
- Use a lancet to prick your finger
- Gently touch the absorbent hole of the test strip to the blood drop so itis drawn in to completely fill the confirmation window
- Wait for the readout on the meter screen
- Ensure that the used test strip and lancet are safely disposed of.
If you’re doing a ketone urine test, you’ll need a tub of urine sticks that you insert into your urine flow, or into collected urine. After waiting for the time prescribed by the manufacturer, the colour on the urine stick should be compared to the tub’s colour chart to get a ketone measurement.
What results am I looking for?
Normal ketone levels are less than 0.6 mmol/L.
Anything between 0.6 and 1.5 mmol/L shows an excess that should be monitored. Drink some water, wait for 2-4 hours and check again to see if the levels have gone down.
If you get a reading of 1.6 to 2.9 mmol/L, this is definitely too high and could indicate potential DKA. Consult your doctor if these levels are occurring frequently.
Seek immediate medical assistance if you get ketone results of 3.0 mmol/L or more.
If you are a person living with diabetes, you may well have heard the term HbA1c. It is an abbreviated name for a form of haemoglobin, the protein in the blood cells, which transports oxygen. HbA1c is also called haemoglobin A1c or just A1c.
What does it have to do with diabetes?
When sugar is processed by your body, glucose entering the bloodstream is naturally attracted to the haemoglobin and combines with it to form HbA1c. The volume of glucose that attaches to the haemoglobin protein is in direct proportion to the overall volume of sugar present in your body at the time of measurement.
Therefore, the amount of HbA1c in your blood is used as an indicator of average blood sugar levels (plasma glucose concentration) in the last 90 days.
How is it measured?
A regular blood test is routinely performed to establish HbA1c levels in people who have Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus, to show how well the plasma glucose concentration is being controlled. The higher the levels of HbA1c detected in the blood, the higher the concentration of blood sugar, with a greater risk of developing additional diabetes-related complications. HbA1c tests can also help to identify people at risk of diabetes or pre-diabetes, based on their blood sugar concentrations, and should be carried out at least once a year. You may be tested more often if, for example, your doctor wishes to monitor your condition more closely or has prescribed changes to your medication.
Why are there two types of test?
It is important to remember that blood glucose levels can be in a state of constant flux, changing literally every minute as you eat, drink and exercise. You need to test for blood glucose levels throughout the day to assess what impact is made on your blood sugar by different types of food and drink – but this is a time-specific spot measurement of the blood glucose concentration only at that exact moment. Longer-term testing averages these levels over the life-cycle of the red blood cells (8-12 weeks) and is usually a regular blood sample taken from the arm. It assesses how well you are keeping diabetes under control generally, and whether your daily routine is helping to cope with the condition.
How much HbA1c should I have?
A generalised target level for people with diabetes is 6.5%, or 48 mmol per mol, where the normal level for people without diabetes is below 6% or 42 mmol per mol.
However, every individual person with diabetes should consult their doctor for more specific measurements and a personalised target, as each person’s target concentration must take into consideration their daily activities and lifestyle, and risk of hypoglycaemic stress (low blood sugar).
Does reducing HbA1c help avoid diabetes-related complications?
Both the UK Prospective Diabetes Study and the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial in the US concluded that reducing HbA1c in Type 1 or 2 diabetes sufferers by 1%, or 11 mmol per mol lessened the risk of such microvascular complications as nerve, eye and kidney diseases.
 90 days is the natural lifespan of a red blood cell