Possible Complications of Insulin Therapy

If it is impossible to restore normal blood sugar levels with the help of pills, a healthy lifestyle or proper nutrition, insulin is needed. Its use is directly related to the depletion of the pancreas.

Non-compliance with the rules of insulin therapy leads to various complications. Consider the most common:

1. Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions   most often occur at the injection site, but can manifest as generalized urticaria, anaphylactic shock. Their appearance is associated with a violation of the injection technique, the use of thick needles or their repeated use. A painful condition occurs when introducing a too cold solution or choosing the wrong injection site. Also, the occurrence of allergies contributes to a break in treatment for several weeks or months. To prevent it after a break in treatment, you need to use only the human hormone.

 2. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia  is a decrease in the concentration of sugar in the blood. This complication is accompanied by characteristic symptoms: excessive sweating, tremor of the extremities, rapid heartbeat, hunger. Hypoglycemia develops with an overdose of medication or with prolonged fasting. Complications can occur against the background of emotional distress, stress, after physical overwork.

3. Lipodystrophy

Lipodystrophy  develops in the field of frequent repeated injections. It leads to the breakdown of adipose tissue and the formation of a seal (lipohypertrophy) or depression (lipoatrophy) at the site of the lesion.

4. The increase in body weight

This complication is associated with an increase in caloric intake and increased appetite due to the feeling of hunger when stimulating lipogenesis by insulin. As a rule, weight gain is 2-6 kg, but if you follow all the rules of a balanced diet, this problem can be avoided.

5. Visual impairment

It  is a temporary complication that occurs at the beginning of the introduction of the hormone. Vision is restored on its own in 2-3 weeks.

6. Sodium and water retention in the body

Swelling of the lower extremities, as well as an increase in blood pressure are associated with fluid retention in the body and are temporary.

To reduce the risk of the above pathological conditions, you must carefully select the place for injection and follow all the rules of insulin therapy.

 Lipodystrophy with insulin therapy –

One of the rare complications of insulin therapy that occurs during prolonged and regular traumatization of the small peripheral nerves and blood vessels with a needle is lipodystrophy. The painful condition develops not only because of the administration of the drug, but also when using insufficiently pure solutions.

The danger of a complication is that it violates the absorption of the injected hormone, causes pain and cosmetic defects of the skin.

There are such types of lipodystrophy:


Due to the disappearance of subcutaneous tissue, a fossa is formed at the injection site. Its appearance is associated with the body’s immunological response to poorly purified preparations of animal origin. Treatment of this problem consists in the use of small doses of injections in a highly purified hormone along the periphery of the affected areas.


This is the formation of infiltrates on the skin, that is, seals. It occurs in violation of the technique of drug administration, as well as after the anabolic local effect of injection. It is characterized by a cosmetic defect and impaired absorption of the drug.

To prevent this pathology, you should regularly change the injection sites, and when using one area, leave a distance between the punctures of at least 1 cm. Physical procedures of phonophoresis with hydrocortisone ointment have a therapeutic effect.

Prevention of lipodystrophy is reduced to the observance of such rules: alternation of injection sites, the introduction of insulin heated to body temperature, slow and deep introduction of the drug under the skin, the use of only sharp needles, careful treatment of the injection site with alcohol or other antiseptic.

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