I've been using a Levemir FlexPen to inject my bedtime insulin dose for about 2 weeks and yesterday I noticed a large (fist size) bruise along with a smaller quarter size bruise on my lower abdomen. I vary where I a voodoo doll...all over my stomach and hadn't used that area in a few days. I've read that injecting cold insulin, straight from the fridge, can sometimes cause this but I'm curious if anyone has had a similar reaction.

I generally do bruise very easily and don't take the recommended baby asprin because, in the past, I've developed similar bruising, albeit smaller and not quite so dark purple in color, because of the blood thinning properties.

Please keep in mind, this (insulin injections) is still very new to me which is why I'm bringing this here as a question. I have an appointment with a diabetes educator on Friday which I'm looking forward to.

Thanks so much.

I totally had bruising all over my stomach when I started injecting (in June). Some of them large and scary looking. Sometimes you can’t help it. If you’re fair, you can try and avoid the larger blood vessels by just looking carefully before you inject. Are you pinching up the skin before injecting? Also, I remember really jabbing myself when I first started because I had this fear of the insulin not going in that translated to tension (violence?lol!) in my arms and hands. Remember that the needle is very fine and you needn’t stab yourself with gusto, just insert it quickly and gently.

That’s what I know anyway. After being told to inject elsewhere too (thighs, for example), I’m still getting some bruising by accident, but generally it’s not as big and scary as in the beginning.

Yes shes right… and also pending on where you inject… you can hit a muscle and it hurts bruises and usually bleeds…

and just for info purposes… what size needle tip do you use?

Thanks for the quick reply!

Yes, I’m pinching the skin…maybe too much.
Yes, I might be jabbing myself
Yes, I completely get the ‘violence’ concept…internal anger at having reached this point (I’ve been diabetic for 12 yrs.). In fact, I had to stop and do a quick double take when I read the tension/violence statement…it hit home.

I haven’t been injecting my thighs because they’re very muscular and the doctor suggested the stomach would be easier.

Thanks for the “food for thought” and the reminder to tone down the gusto. :wink:

I use BD Ultra-Fine Pen Needles-8mm length 31gauge. Translate that to a rather small and very fine needle and I’m surprised with the amount of bruising they can create.

As for hitting muscle…I’m an apple shape so my weight is in my stomach. Muscle is there somewhere but not where the needle is hitting…lol!


I had lots of bruising from pens & switched to syringes.

I bruise with everything… pen, syringe, pump site… it’s ugly, but it doesn’t seem to cause problems. Right now I have an infusion set on my thigh and about a fist size bruise surrounding it.

I’ve been injecting in my stomach for a year and a half now. Up until recently I only rarely got bruises (and I generally think of myself as someone who bruises easy). But all of a sudden my stomach is covered in bruises! Oddly enough the only thing I did differently lately was I realized I was using only the outer edges of my tummy so I started moving more to the center (but not too near the belly button. I don’t really care, only mattrs when I have my bathing suit on, and I don’t live close to any bodies of water!

I too am someone who bruises easily. Someone recently introduced me to arnica Montana. It’s a homeopathic Remedy ( comes from a flowering plant) that helps to reduce discoloration from bruising. The pellets have some sugar ( but tiny amounts.) so be sure to monitor your bg. You can get it at Whole Foods

I,too, had terrible bruising using the BD Ultra Fine 31 gauge needles (I also use Levemir). I just switched to the BD Nano needles - 32 gauge, 4mm. Made all the difference for me. Also, as others here said, I experienced little to no bruising when using syringes. In my opinion, the pens cause bruising easier because of the pressing action on the end of the pen. I also find I bruise less with the pens if I’m sitting down - easier to grab my flab!

I have the same problem. it’s not really a black-and-blue type bruise though. it’s a little redness on the skin and a hard, swollen spot underneath the skin about the size of a quarter that lasts for about 3-4 days. i also use levemir and bd ultramini 31g 5mm needles. I use the same needles for my humalog and don’t have a problem, though maybe it’s because the dose is so much smaller. i’ve tried different size needles, including the mini, and still have the issue. i’m trying a sample pen of lantus, starting tomorrow, to see if i have better results. like you it also started for me after i was using levemir for a few weeks.

Back before I got old and only good for use as a cat rest, I studied martial arts.

The style I studied tended to leave alot of bruises everywhere from the face on down.

You can pick up martial arts bruise remedies at the better martial arts stores; the brand I used was red phoenix. It smelled of cinnamon and would take a bruise away in a very short period of time. I know that from much experience.

Just thought I would throw that out first. :slight_smile:

I bruise also and I’ve tried less impact to looking for the bigger blood vessels with a light first; kind of strange to do that to be honest but some of the bruises are quite spectacular.

I wonder if there are other factors due to the diabetes that makes us subceptible?

I know my endo worries about my feet because I have so much nerve damage from the back surgeries and now the nerve isses (he thinks) from the diabets. I do have an issue there because I have burned and cut my feet and had no idea I had done anything.

Perhaps some connection to why we don’t heal as well anymore or something else?


Hi Richard,

Hmmm, you don’t have to be old to be a cat rest…trust me!

I’ll look for the Red Phoenix remedy, thanks. I’ve been using arnica gel when the bruises get too over the top. It seems to help, albeit a bit slowly.

I realized the other night while giving my injection that I hold my breath and tense up. A couple of deep breaths and a reminder to relax seems to be helping to cut down on the amount of presure I use.

Good luck with the feet…I have neuropathy and its not something to ignore.

Thanks IJ!

As the nights get colder the cats migrate to me just like my wife as I seem to give off alot of warmth. :slight_smile:

One really strange thing about the cats is that when I am not feeling well, say with a bad hip or ribs saying hello, the cats seem to wind up on that spot and often purr at me. I know cats add to your lifespan, well supposedly anyway as they can be very irritating, but mine seem to be able to make me feel better or to at least be able to cope and go back to sleep.

You or possibly anyone else that reads this have a similar experience?

One nice thing about the Red Phoenix was the smell. The cinnamon and herbs smelled very good!

An old breathing exercise might help you, again from the old martial arts days. In through the nostrils, slowly into the lungs and then out the mouth and think of it as a circular pattern. It will drop your pulse quite a bit if you do it slowly and it can really help with focus or non-focus when you are driving a needle in. :slight_smile:


Hi again Richard…

I just wanted to share this link with you…yeah, I’m hijacking my own thread :-)…about the cats/humans/energy link.

I have 3 cats and when I’m feeling poorly, they sense it and cuddle with me. I have one that will do the same as yours, lay on my hip/feet/leg that hurts the most. I call her my Healer.

I’ll give the breathing exercise a try, thanks.