Injection sites

By Danni-the-diabetic Latest Reply 2014-08-17 14:23:54 -0500
Started 2010-02-05 01:01:56 -0600

I've never been too good about changing my injection sites; my legs started to bleed everytime and arms was difficult for me, so I stuck to my stomach and hips (mostly stomach). I know they said rotate your spots - and I did, but I didnt have alot to rotate with. Anywho, for awhile now I have had to bulges in my stomach from where I give my shots. I know it's not fat bulges because it's hard in certain areas (scar tissue?) and at my skinniest it bulges out. I went to go give my shot a few times and after I started pressing the plunger thingy down it would stop, like it was blocked from going in. I took the syringe out and all that I had put in me went back-firing, sqaurting out of stomach (that sounds funny). It aslo itches alot. So I was wondering if any of you have experienced the same thing, or am I just horrible at giving injections after 13 years? Thank you!

36 replies

TLTanner 2014-08-17 14:23:54 -0500 Report

I realize this post is quite old and I didn't read all 35 comments, but I'm putting in my 2 cents worth.

I have those same two bulges in my stomach and yes, it is scar tissue and yes, it will react like you described in your post.

I've no clue why a doctor would tell you to only give your shots in the belly and then to tell you to rotate your sites. Where? there are only so many places you can go on your stomach! Use your thighs, arms and if you have someone that can give you shots, use your buttocks too. An easy way to do the arms that I found, is to push your arm into the back of a chair which acts like you pinching up the skin, give your injection and as you pull the needle out, sit up. Worked for me! I'm now on a pump and I still use belly, thighs, and hips. I've got tons of scars from numerous abdominal surgeries, so my selections are greatly limited now! Hope this helps!

Blessings to you and yours!


ccritch 2010-06-29 08:19:07 -0500 Report


Well, injecting in the same sites, hitting a nerve or vein will cause the burns where you want to Jump and scream and your children look at you like Mom! what the Heck! are you doing!? My 7 year old laughs at me. But I am in pain. Thank god O don't inject anymore.

Try you thigh, upper arms, or another site on your belly

God Bless

ONeil 2010-07-01 04:44:07 -0500 Report

I will try that and see if that will work but I was told by my DR to do it in my belly so that is what I have been doing for over a year.
So thank you .
God Bless you lol
Hugs Anna

Anne56 2010-02-07 07:18:00 -0600 Report

Hi, Danni. Something else occurred to me that may affect injection sites. I have had two back surgeries. At the second surgery, I was given an epideral. It didn't work due to (most likely) scar tissue from the first surgery. Every surgery or procedure creates scar tissue, as do various wounds and injuries. I have had four abdominal surgeries, as well… just a thought.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-07 09:02:08 -0600 Report

You said your epidural didn't work, I'm wondering if that why my sugar will spike up throughout the day sometimes or even right after I take it and eat a sandwich, because my body isn't absorbing it because of the scar tissue. And with that I wonder if that area started "breaking down" or getting smaller, would stored the stored insulin effect me and make my sugars drop? Just a crazy thought.

Anne56 2010-02-07 09:32:46 -0600 Report

I'm not thinking the thought "crazy", though I don't know the answer. We know that each of us are different, but we can't know all the ways in which we are unique. My surgeon told me about a person who had their appendix located in his armpit area! I gotta think that's pretty unusual!

I have read that something or another causes diabetes symptoms… "such or such raises sugar levels", for example. As I gain more knowledge, I have discovered that some things actually are causing insulin to not be absorbed or affects its effects, rather than DIRECTLY causing symptoms. (I hope I stated that well.)

I can't think of a better place to figure stuff like this out

ONeil 2010-02-06 21:43:18 -0600 Report

i know what you mean I have some of those bumps and some time it looks bad but what can you do to get ride of then, and it is ture the bumps don't always go a way, it is very hard to fine a good spot ti do you injection.

ONeil 2010-02-06 21:44:08 -0600 Report

but I am type 2

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-07 05:23:43 -0600 Report

Yeah, I'm going for my hips and I try to do I'm arms at least once a day, it's uncomfortable, but I suppose I will get use to it - lol I sure did with my stomach!

ONeil 2010-02-07 14:12:21 -0600 Report

well for me the wost part of it is that my belly looks like a pin chusen and I do get some bursing sometimes and that is bad. so when that happens I use my thigh and that will even have bumps after the injecton , that will give my belly a brack. but then I go back and forth on that I have not used my armed yet, I woulder if it is hard to do if you do it youself. So I feel sorry for anyone that has to do this day in and day out do to it can be very painfull
not only for type 1 but type 2 as well if they are insulin lol.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-07 16:38:57 -0600 Report

For my arms I put my foot up on a chair and rest my upper arm on my knee so I can get some fat and poke myself. I actually learned that from a little kid when I was 14. Pin cushion! That about describes the two lumps on my belly. When I was younger I thought about doing it on by butt lol, that way I would HAVE a butt…the funny things you think as a kid…

ONeil 2010-02-07 18:13:45 -0600 Report

i am sorry but I will not do my butt, even though I have a fat butt HA!!!!!! HA!!!!!!!. but I will try my arm thank you

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-07 18:43:51 -0600 Report

I hope that I don/t ever have to do shots as after my kidney removal, they gave me shots of Heparin in my belly for several days, and every one left a big bruise! I looked like I had been in a boxing match, and LOST!! hahaPR

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-07 19:59:53 -0600 Report

Pat, I don't know what you were taking shots for, but how big was the needle? Like was it thick - eww! I hate big needles, like when I get a shot in the muscle *shivers* they scare me! Anywho, when I get my syringes from the pharmacy they are fine needles, but it's when I have to reuse them I get the bruised because they start to dull out. Also, if I get syringes from the hospital (I have a nurse in the family), they are slightly longer and thicker and I can feel the difference, but it not that bad. So I was just wondering.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-08 00:01:47 -0600 Report

I'm not sure, Danni—about the size of the needle, it contained Heparin and I think it is to be given deeply in muscle, they used my belly! When I had my c-section, I got a blood clot in the back of one leg and they gave the Heparin in my butt—-and it wasn't as big THEN as it is now!!! haha_PR

livlaughlve22 2010-02-06 20:32:37 -0600 Report

I did that! a few months after being diagnosed i figured hey lets give my stomach a shot! instead of me constantly using my legs and arms, i developed two bumps around my belly button mostly and stopped using my stomach (when i was on injections I have a pump now) and 6 years later I still have those bumps your talking about, cause when my weight drops to its lowest the bumps are still there, i was told it was scar tissue building and i wasnt rotating enough for it to heal, But now i use the pump and only put the tubes in my stomach, but oh well lol

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-07 05:19:22 -0600 Report

So after 6 years you still have them? I would hope that with even using the pump it would go down, because don't you change the injection site about every 3 days? I was on the pump 10 years ago and my stomach was the most comfortable and convenient place to put it; I tried my hip once but my pants messed with it. When I posted this is when I decided to finally stop using my stomach, hoping they would eventually go down. Like you said, Oh well! As far as the effects of having diabetes, that's the least of my problems ( if I keep telling myself that than I will eventually be ok with it, lol).

Anne56 2010-02-06 09:06:13 -0600 Report

Dear Danni,

I am a newbie and have no advice/info to help you. I primarily want to comment that you sound like a sweetheart of a person! Your technical language (plunger thingy) was a bit difficult for me (LOL) and I applaud your sounding like a real person, even after so many years of "This". Good for you!

I do have the same challenge you describe, so your responses interest me too. I wind up with needle marks and bruises everywhere except my belly fat (of which there is less and less!) I have had several abdominal surgeries over the years and suspect scar tissue there; also, I do have some stretch marks from pregnancies that I avoid (meaning, I avoid the stretch marks).

Glad you posted this discussion. Best wishes to you!


Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-06 14:50:34 -0600 Report

Thanks Anne, I'm working on my technical speaking lol. I'm sorry to hear about your surgeries, is that all ok now?
I was wondering, do you rotate between your hips, arms, legs or wherever else you can possibly poke yourself? When I was young I tried some weird places, basically anywhere fatty enough to where I could give them.

Anne56 2010-02-06 15:26:21 -0600 Report

Yes, "everything" is okay from surgeries. Sadly, my two 20-something daughters are going through some of the same grief — and at much younger ages than I was. We've become quite educated, however, and less afraid. Also, technologies offer better microscopic alternatives these days. Thanks for asking! Inquiring about a person's surgical history carries the risk of opening the floodgates. lol

As for switching around sites: that is my intention. So far, though, I found that I bruise very easily everywhere save my belly. I have also discovered that more than a few strangers feel comfortable asking what caused bruising! I can handle that well enough, but it stuns me that some folks ask such a potentially personal or embarrassing question.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-06 16:51:04 -0600 Report

Man, don't you just love those personal/embarrasing questions. I get asked those, but not because of shots or diabetes…and I just think to myself, "Can't people just mind their own business", that's because it's always been people that I don't know.

jayabee52 2010-02-06 22:46:14 -0600 Report

I wonder if they are asking because of concern that you might be getting a beating from a signifigant other? . There's a great awareness about that subject. And some people don't let something like embarassment stop them from asking about something like that.

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-07 05:05:43 -0600 Report

You're right and I think it's great that some people are truly concerned enough to ask. As far as I'm concerned, they ask me about a couple scars, they're just curious, I guess.

Anne56 2010-02-07 07:12:10 -0600 Report

Dear Jayabee52,

Yours is a thoughtful and generous consideration. If someone ever questioned me from that view, I would respond in kind. Friends have certainly asked gentle questions about various bruises over the years and that is understood and appreciated. (I am an easy bruiser and am seldom without black 'n blue marks!) Please know that my comment was directed at strangers who are simply curious. One can tell. It is my consideration of increasing awareness of rampant abuse of women (and children) that fed my comment about insensitive, nosey folks.

Not so long ago, I fell down stairs. My husband caught my arm, but I fell anyway. One result was blue fingermarks on my arm where he had grabbed me. Waiting in a line at the store, a woman asked (loudly), "What happened to you? Your husband beatin' ya?" A different time altogether, someone asked what happened to me (noting bruising). Before I responded, she added, "That's disgusting".

Anyway, these are the people of which I was referring. There should be more people with your sensitivity and thinking!


Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-07 09:27:42 -0600 Report

Goodness, ANnne! HOW RUDE that some people would actually ask such personal questions!! Around here one assumes that we are all just CLUMSY—-everyone is always falling, down stairs and whatever!! But this is a farming community and maybe our thought proccesses are just different—-Hugs, Pat R

Anne56 2010-02-07 09:41:54 -0600 Report

Thanks for the virtual hugs, Pat — right back at ya!

My experience is that farming communities are quite different than cities and Big Cities that have a uniqueness all their own. (I have always noticed huge differences in overall driving protocols!) In large communities, there are certainly more people to be rude! Sometimes its just numbers. I travel around the country quite a lot. Thank goodness there are Good People everywhere!

MAYS 2010-02-05 02:57:13 -0600 Report

Seems that my educated guess may be just that a guess according to this article \ explanation :


Lipohypertrophy is a medical term that refers to a lump under the skin caused by accumulation of extra fat at the site of many subcutaneous injections of insulin. It may be unsightly, and may change the timing or completeness of insulin action. It is a common, minor, chronic complication of diabetes mellitus.

Typical injection site hypertrophy is several inches or cm across, smoothly rounded, and somewhat firmer than ordinary subcutaneous fat. There may be some scar tissue as well, but the major component is adipose tissue, as insulin exerts a hypertrophic effect adipose cells. To avoid lipohypertrophy, persons with diabetes mellitus who inject insulin daily for an extended period of time are advised to rotate their injections among several areas (usually upper, outer arms, outer thighs, abdomen below and around the umbilicus, and the upper parts of the buttocks. Rotation charts to aid avoidance of lipohypertrophy are often provided as part of diabetes education.

Lipohypertrophy usually will gradually disappear over months if injections in the area are avoided.

It is a common misconception that the lump is largely scar tissue, as injection site hypertrophy is much rarer and milder with injections of other hormones and medications which lack the specific ability of insulin to stimulate adipose hypertrophy.

In a sense, the "opposite" of injection site lipohypertrophy is injection site lipoatrophy, in which the subcutaneous fat around an injected area "melts away" over a few weeks or months, leaving unsightly, well-demarcated depressions in the skin. The mechanism of this local lipoatrophy is not understood and may involve autoimmunity or local inflammation.

" Mays "

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-05 03:03:25 -0600 Report

Thank you Mays for looking this up! That sounds about right. Guess I'll just avoid site totally…not looking forward to the "deep impressions" AKA STRETCH MARKS! when this goes away :( At least my pants will fit right!

MAYS 2010-02-05 03:11:39 -0600 Report

I love your sense of humor, it's very infectious !

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-05 22:31:26 -0600 Report

Well I am glad I can infect you with humor :) It's my way of getting by…what's that saying? "laughter is the best medicine" or "laughter is good for the soul"??

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-02-06 23:22:19 -0600 Report

A good sense of humor helps us ALL, Dani!! Keep laughing and you will do fine!! And asking those questions—-even tho I don't have that problem, it is good to know what CAN happen—and be more understanding of others!! Hugs, Pat R

greeneyedghost 2010-02-07 19:19:29 -0600 Report

I agree Pat!!!! I had to do injections while I was prego with my last daughter 10 years ago and I never had that problem, but it got harder and harder to put a shot in my tummy (which is the only place at that time they would allow me to give them). The bigger I got ( and i got huge all in the tummy with her.. she was 9lbs 1oz.), the harder it became to give them, cuz i had no skin to pinch up.. just all baby. lol. I hope all gets ok with u, I think I would check with my doc tho, to make sure that everything is ok with that area. Good Luck with it Danni. Nicki :-)

MAYS 2010-02-05 02:52:39 -0600 Report

You have much more experience with injections than I do, my educated guess would be that the bulges may be scar tissue build up, I will look into that.
Maybe this will help :

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-05 22:32:36 -0600 Report

I use to take lantus when I had health insurance, to me that insulin burnt going in.

gregsteele 2010-06-28 06:17:58 -0500 Report

There have been plenty of replies to this so ill leave the main topic alone just thought id say to danni my levimir always burns but not the novolog dont know why

ONeil 2010-06-29 04:48:25 -0500 Report

Well their are times to were I have the same thing happen then there are times were I don't feel it , I just don't know if it is were you do the injection or not. I have been Levemir for 1 1/2 year and it is still taking me time to get use to it. one thing I hate is after the injection I want itch it . So I do know what it is like. I do wish you the best and if you still have the problem call your Dr and see what he /she say.
good luck.

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