How long should the needle be?

I’ve been using the same needles pretty much since I was diagnosed, 32 gauge 6mm. Then I got a freebie package of new needles that were 4mm and tried them. I found my numbers to be a lot higher than usual so it got me wondering if the length of the needle made a difference with how you absorb the insulin.

My understanding was that you inject subcutaneously and that was it. The insulin is there doing it’s job, now I’m not sure if there is a level of how deep you need to go. Is my body using all the insulin or is some being wasted? Is that possible?

Actually, some people may find that a very short needle does not reach far enough down to the subcutaneous layer. So you may actually find that 6mm is better. Many people use needles that are 5/16" (8mm) or even 1/2" (12.7 mm).

I’m just wondering if I would need less insulin if I had an even longer needle. And how do you know if a needle is too long for you?

make sure you watch for any spilling back out, if you try a smaller needle.
ensure your ‘technique’ is compatible with the needle size…you may just want to check with your nurse or a pharmacist (who knows what he is talking about)

I’ve not noticed any difference in effect between short or longer needles. Never used one as small as 4mm, though. That’s tiny. I’m questioning if that’s long enough to inject into the fat layer unless you’re really skinny. I went to 8mm because I’m thin & I bled using longer ones.

I use the short 1/2 cc 8mm also. I’m slim. It’s perfect for me. I would not use a 4mm but it is up to you to experiment to see what treatment and equipment works Best for you.

I think you need really long ones when you inject a large amount of insulin like 50 units or more.

My 8mm are described as short. I don’t think I knew they had 4mm. I thought 6mm was the shortest. How can 8mm be described as short if they have 4mm?

I’ve just seen some 5 mm

Good point about m aybe needing long needles for large doses. I’m looking at my 8mm trying to imagine half that length.

Yeah you wouldn’t want 60-70 units so close to the surface of your skin.

I was wondering if a 4mm or 6mm even comes in high units 50 or more? That would explain it. Also I was just looking at my needle also thinking “wow…4mm”. That must be intended for babies or small children or really small doses (a few units) in adults.

The name short is original. I wonder what they call the 6mm and 4mm. Shorter and shortest?? I don’t think Samantha uses 60-70 units in one shot. I can’t imagine. I only use 8 units at the most in one shot. Good point on the 4mm for Babies and small Children Mikey.

Nope, the biggest dose is 18 with lantus.

I think I’m going to see if I can find my endo’s email. I’m not too confidant in the pharmacists around here.

I’m not thin at all so maybe the 6mm is too short… But I usually get a bit of blood when I inject as well. Did you find that the amount of insulin you took changed when you changed needle lengths?

What makes me bleed is the gauge (thickness of needle more than the length) I think. I noticed that years ago when I was getting different sizes delivered from insurance every 2 weeks.
Now I use 8mm 30 gauge and sometimes the 6mm and I bleed probably once every twenty or thirty shots. With the thick and long ones I used years ago I would bleed every forth or fifth shot and get bruises. Everybody is different though. And I’m not thin LOL

An average woman has a bodyfat level of 25% and would have a skinfold of perhaps 30-40 mm on their abdomen. That is right, you pinch up that “puppy” and you have a 3-4 cm skinfold. If you want to inject right into the center of your bodyfat layer, you should probably use a needle that gets to the center, not a 4mm, but more like a 8 or 12.7 mm needle.