Injection site for faster response

Hi. I’m wondering if injecting in a different place will make insulin work faster. I’m currently injecting humalog in my abdomen. It can take over 2 hrs to see a decline in my blood sugar. I’m thinking if I inject in my thighs and then walk or run or inject in my arm and do some raking. Will that make my body absorb it faster? (I probably will try it, just wondering if this worked fir anyone.) My Endo said there is not a really faster acting insulin. Thanks

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found this, you might find it useful :slight_smile:

If you take your shot or place your pump catheter in a spot on your abdomen where there is more fat underneath the skin, insulin may be absorbed more slowly. For example, the middle of the abdomen may be fattier than the side. Even though it might seem more comfortable to take insulin here, because there are fewer nerve endings, your insulin may not be absorbed as quickly as you want.

When you exercise, blood flow to your legs increases, which speeds insulin absorption. If you inject insulin into the thigh and then exercise, the insulin will be absorbed faster than if it was injected in the abdomen.

Extracted from:


Intramuscular will work a bit faster than subcutaneous because the muscle tissue has a greater blood supply than the subcutaneous tissue.

Depending on your body type, you can probably get it into your calf muscle with either a 1/2 or 1 inch needle. I do this frequently when I need insulin quickly. A shot in the calf muscle followed by a 20 minute jog makes a big difference over a subcu shot.

The thigh muscle would also be effective, but it would probably take a longer needle to get there.


I’ve been told this as well.

Injection sites are one of those things that vary from individual to individual, sometimes significantly. The abdomen works best for me, and that’s probably the most common, but some people do actually get better response elsewhere. You might want to experiment with different locations and keep a log until you know for sure which sites perform best.

I also use intramuscular injections when I need a faster response. As Eddie says, it usually does require a longer needle. I use BD syringes with a 12.7mm (½") needle for that purpose. It also helps to exercise the muscle immediately after; increases blood flow and thus absorption.

No matter what location you end up using regularly, it’s vital to have more than one site so you can rotate between them. Using one site all the time can eventually build up internal scar tissue that may block or interfere with absorption.

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Even without IM injections, I found my legs - even my calves - tend toward better absorption… Also, if you’ve been using one area, like your stomach, for a long time - even with carefully rotating sites- absorption can decline.

One other thing – Last summer, I enlisted the assistance of an alternative “functional” medicine practitioner, who had me do a 3-week “detox” and change to a lower-carb diet. I have noticed a VERY significant improvement in my insulin absorption since that time. If you try something like that, though, be very careful – my basal requirements quickly decreased dramatically in just the first few days, so I had to make those adjustments rapidly.


Thank you everyone for your suggestions about injection spots. I’ve been using my abdomen for years - I’ll try my arms, I guess - looking for a place with the least fat and will try injecting in my calves with exercise, and see if I can get some longer needles. @Thas about how many carbs do you eat daily on the diet? I try to be careful of what I eat - little or no “white” food, but probably could do better. Thanks everyone again.

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During the “detox” portion, it was 20-30g/day. Now, i try and stay below 50g, sometimes a lot less sometimes more… I do eat more carbs on weekends (not really “allowed” on the diet, but I do it for my own sanity!). Lots of green, leafy vegetables (I never seem to manage to get what I should, though), good fats, good proteins, very little-if-any processed food.

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I have experienced similar lag times sometimes for humalog, more so for novolog. You can search the forum for other peoples’ experience with Apidra which for many is a faster-acting bolus insulin than either humalog or novolog. And afrezza is found by many to be even faster than that.
You’ve probably seen other comments on other threads here for more info on intramuscular injections and other variables for insulin efficacy. PS. stay hydrated!

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Thanks - I started out with Apidra and it didn’t last long enough. Intramuscular injections are new to me - so I’m excited to be able to try something new. My endo is not very helpful in this regard. Thanks!

I don’t know if IM would be used for small corrections, because it’s a fluke if the bolus is right, so many factors.

read up on it, I think it would be more for when you are sick and taking insulin like water and still showing ketones. a now and again thing. I read the reason it’s not used as bolus is because of the wild fluctuations of action.

Wow. That’s pretty low. 15 per meal and 5 carb snack. Have you lost much weight?

This will also explain a bit about low carb and T1, one of the low carb ways, is what I would look at, like @Thas is

Thanks. I’m taking prednisone. BG is unpredictable. It rises for no reason, the ratio varies and I’m hoping to find a way to knock it down quickly. If could find some way to get a quicker response from insulin it would be great. Thanks.

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hopefully it’s going to be for a short duration, the 'roids are hard to handle

I have lost a little weight, but not nearly as much as I’d have liked. I am unsure why that is. I had already been cutting down on my carb intake before going even lower-carb, so lost some weight from that. I did lose a bit more after further cutting carbs, but only at first - after that, I’ve been mostly stable.

I was not overweight when originally diagnosed, and I was active. I actually gained quite a bit of weight after diagnosis from following some bad advice after I started taking insulin. Since a year ago, I have lost half of the weight I’d gained, but would really like to make a significant sent in the balance!

I don’t snack too often, and when I do, it’s mostly nuts or cheese that do not impact my BG much if at all. I generally have a no-carb or very low-carb breakfast, and a very low-carb lunch, leaving most of my f daily carbs for dinner. For me, doing that has helped me better manage morning (fasting) glucose levels.

I’m preaching here, cause I’m still obese and eat too much protein, my A1c is 5.2 and I’ve slacked off…BUT
try keto for a while. eating carbs on the weekend will knock you out of keto, It’s also bad medically to quickly cycle back and forwards.(you are better not to keto than to go in and out)
Protein also has to be watched, too much protein will stop keto and weight.loss.

It’s so easy for ‘just one won’t hurt’ to mess up, but I’d be very surprised if this didn’t take the weight off
this 20g atkins induction is keto

I think injecting in my thighs works faster than my stomach. I also have quite a lot of scar tissue for 4 C-sections so maybe that is why my numbers seem better with the thigh injections than the stomach…

Do you mean injecting into the fat of the thigh or muscle? as you know, in to fat is normal. It’s into the muscle that is the next step

@jack16, I have discussed what I do with professionals who promote a very low-carb diet. They have actually told me that the opposite is a concern – too few carbs can, in some cases, cause an increase in insulin resistance. I agree, too much protein can also be a problm, but (and I asked this question a well) the definition of “too much” is fairly subjective, b ut likely quite a bit more than I eat. I have tried to digitally measure ketones after a particularly long period of very low carbs (and moderate protein), and have, so far never approached the level of true “ketosis”

In the end, I think this, like almost everything else diabetes-related, has nop absolute rules that work the same for everyone. That said, this approach has allowed me to dramatically cut my insulin requirements, lose some weight (though not enough), and maintain fairly stable blood glucose throughout the day mot of the time. Could it be better? Perhaps. Will I ever be able to stop taking insulin altogether? Highly unlikely. I have managed to maintain my A1c is the low 5’s (or less) over an extended period without problems with hypoglycemic episodes, so I’m reasonably happy with the results, so far, and so are my doctors.