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Insulin Absorption


Your body absorbs insulin differently depending on where it is injected. Insulin is absorbed fastest when injected into the subcutaneous tissue in the abdomen (stomach), and somewhat less quickly in the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks/hips.

You can use the difference in absorption rates to plan where you're going to inject your insulin. For example,

  • Rapid-onset insulin can be injected into your abdomen just before or right after you eat a meal to take advantage of the abdomen's fast absorption rate. 

  • NPH insulin can be injected into a different site (arms, thighs, or buttocks), to take advantage of the slower absorption rate while you sleep.


Exercise can also affect the absorption rate.

  • If you plan to play basketball after injecting, for example, choose a site other than your shooting/dribbling arm, since injecting there can increase the absorption rate. 

  • If you prefer to inject near a part of your body that you'll be using when exercising, wait at least 45 minutes after injecting before starting your activity.
 

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