10 Side Effects Of Insulin Injections Every Diabetic Should Know

Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by a gland called the pancreas, which is located in between the stomach and the spinal cord. It is responsible for pushing the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. This helps in keeping the blood sugar under control. If you want to know diabetic food control, click here.

However, when the body is not able to produce insulin, it is necessary that the body is given insulin, which is usually called human-made. However, there are multiple side effects of insulin injections and if the patient doesn’t takes them, it will affect other parts of the body.

What Are Insulin Injections?

The man-made insulin (usually given in the form on injection to the diabetic patient) is a substitute for the human insulin.

In simple words, it is a short-acting insulin, which works by assisting the blood sugar (or glucose) to get into the cells so that the body can utilize it for energy. It is usually used with a  long/medium-acting insulin products. However, it can also be used other diabetes drugs like metformin.

What Are The Side Effects Of Insulin Injections?

Insulin side effects in diabetic patients are rare. However, when they occur, the allergic reactions can be severe and have a significant health risk. Hence, it is important to check with the doctor even if it is mild.The common side effects of insulin injections are:

  1. Blurry Vision
  2. Disturbed Sensations
  3. Water Retention
  4. Weight Gain
  5. Cardiovascular problems
  6. Hypoglycemia
  7. Hunger
  8. Tiredness
  9. Headache
  10. Thickening of Skin

1. Blurry Vision

blurry vision acquired as side effects of insulinPin

You may notice this only during the temporary stages. Once you start getting used to the shots, your blood sugar will go down and your vision will start to improve.

2. Disturbed Sensations

You might have had some kind of burning or tingling sensations in your hands and feet. Once you start on the insulin, you will notice that the numbness and burning kind of sensations will reduce drastically.

3. Water Retention

People with diabetics, generally suffer from this problem called water retention. This is where the ankles or the feet swell up if the leg is put down for a longer period of time. This will also reduce with the insulin.

4. Weight Gain


General weight gain is normally associated with insulin. This is because, when working with more efficient calories, the body gains more fat. In order to keep this is control, you must follow regular diet and exercise.

5. Cardiovascular Problems

Studies show that insulin might be an atherogenic agent. This means that the insulin leads to the thickening of the walls of the arteries. Due to the thickening of the walls, the patient maybe subjected to cardiovascular issues.

This was suspected because, most of the patients with diabetes are exposed to high frequencies of micro vascular and macro vascular diseases. This is still under investigation. Other than insulin, patients with high carbohydrate intolerance and hypertension are also at risks of being diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases.

6. Hypoglycemia

It is one of the most common side effects of insulin injections. Hypoglycemia is also known as low blood sugar. If too much insulin is injected and if sufficient food is not taken, it can lead to a life-threatening situation. The insulin causes the liver and the muscle cells to take up the oxygen from the blood.

Since the brain only works on glucose and if the brain absorbs all the glucose, the body becomes weak and the patient can go into a hypoglycemic coma. It is important that you and your family know more about the symptoms of hypoglycemia and act accordingly, in case of emergencies.

7. Hunger

You might start to feel a little more hungry than usual, after the administration of insulin. Once the insulin is given, food should be taken 30 minutes later. Till the insulin sets in the body, you may feel  hungry often, as the insulin might require more food to work on. This can make you very hungry at times.

8. Tiredness

You may feel weak or very tired if your sugar is going very low.  This may also be accompanied with sweating, chills, fever and confusion. You and the people around you must be aware of the symptoms of hypoglycemia and must know what is to be done to treat the condition. It is always best if you have glucose pills with you for emergencies.

9. Headaches

headache acquired as side effects of insulinPin

You might also experience headaches. This is a temporary weakness and it will subside once your body gets used to the insulin intake.

10. Thickening Of The Skin

Due to the frequent injections multiple times a day, the skin will start to thicken. The skin might also develop some reddish patches or a rash for some time. If this happens change the place of the injection and do not inject in the same place.

Administration Of Insulin

  • After the insulin shot, make sure that you have your food within 30 minutes. If this is not done, you could end up with hypoglycemia.
  • Generally, insulin is given by the subcutaneous injection into the abdominal wall into the upper arms, buttocks or the thigh. These regions should be rotated so that no infection appears on the skin.
  • Due to certain complications, few insulin types are required to be administered intravenously. This will have to be done by health care professionals.
  • Each dose is individualized for each patient. Do not ask your friends or family members to take what you are taking. You must also stick to what is given to you by your doctor. This is because the type of insulin is prescribed based on the individual’s health condition and his levels of diet and physical activity.
  • Normally, the insulin is prescribed in a combination of intermediate or long-acting insulin or short and rapid-acting insulin.
  • There is an insulin pump, which is fixed to the body and it gives multiple doses of insulin every day. This mimics the function of the pancreas. It is also a good source, which will help you in controlling your sugar.
  • Some patients might develop insulin resistance and due to this, the dosage will have to increase.

Though the insulin might have a lot of side effects, it helps with protecting your body from high blood sugar as well. Always be sure to take your shots on time and have a proper meal. Visit your doctor regularly and check your blood sugar. This will help you to stay right on track!

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