Living with Insulin gives you updates and corrects myths

Diabetes Queensland is offering an important new learning opportunity for anyone using insulin or about to start using insulin.

Introduced earlier this year, Living with Insulin is a free, three-hour session for about a dozen people designed to clarify and refresh your knowledge about insulin use.

It also busts some of the myths that evolve when you’re using insulin every day.

Diabetes Queensland pharmacist and credentialled diabetes educator (CDE), Donna Itzstein, one of the health professionals who presents the course, said people who attend Living with Insulin can gain the confidence to live easily with diabetes.

“This class updates and refreshes everything you’ve been taught about insulin use,” Donna said. “There’s also information that some people have never been told.”

Michelle Tong, also a Diabetes Queensland Living with Insulin facilitator and CDE, said people living with diabetes are told a lot of things that sometimes get forgotten in the daily routines of self-care.

“Importantly, this course reinforces some of the things they’ve heard but haven’t practiced,” Michelle said.

She gave leaving a needle on the insulin pen until the pen is finished as an example of people getting into habits that can cause problems.

“The needle becomes blunt which makes injections painful and increases the risk of skin infections. It also increases the risk of the insulin degrading because leaving the needle in the pen constantly exposes the sensitive insulin to air,” Michelle said.

“It’s important to put the needle on just before use and remove it after.”

Donna said people should be aware reusing the needle increases the risk of lipohypertrophy, a lump under the skin caused by the accumulation of extra fat at the site of insulin injections. It can be unsightly, mildly painful, and may change the absorption of insulin.

“So much of the course highlights habits that we develop over years of self-treatment. You may have been taught the right thing, but the habits you slip into over the years can take on a life of their own,” Donna said.

Living with Insulin is like a refresher session on a vital area of diabetes management. You’re surrounded by people who also use insulin every day so it’s a friendly and supportive environment where you can also learn from your peers.”

Living with Insulin is part of an ambitious push by Diabetes Queensland to increase courses throughout Queensland for people living with diabetes.

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