Omnipod Arm Site Problems

So I did something I haven't done in months - I put on a new omnipod on the back of my left arm. I did it, against my better judgement, because my Dexcom CGM and Omnipod track marks recently have made me look like I have chicken pox on my abdomen.

There are a number of reasons I don't typically place the pod on my arm.

1) I'm Clumsy and can't seem to walk past a door jamb without banging it.

2) If I'm struggling, I have to take off my long sleeve shirt (in the winter) and then I have to have my wife check the canula to see if it is still in trouble.

3) I'm Clumsy and I run into a lot of things that aren't necessarily door jambs.

4) I don't feel like I get the same absorption and consistency I get on my abdomen (which makes no sense because, in theory and with needles, arm injections got into me faster).

For reference - I'm 6'1 about 225 - I'm in decent shape and I'm a lifter- but there's definitely some fat there to get the insulin in.

Today has already been a struggle - I'm bolusing about 2x I normally do and I'm not eating much carbs. So I put it out to the world and the community of Omnipod users - do you feel the same way about not getting results on the arms?

Daniel Watson

hi daniel, my son is a belly site lover as well but when he does switch it up to his arms i think he gets better absorption because his belly sites are overused. he typically will have to use a tegaderm strip over it to keep it secure. but if everything stays secure and he is not trying to throw a football, (painful, but he manages a funny side arm!, blessings just recreational tossing the ball with me!) it is a good backup site for him. he still prefers belly because god forbid someone might see his pod peeking out of his tshirt, he is 14. sometimes he can run high after a pod change in general but we have fixed that by bolusing .5 before and 1.5-5 units post without food depending on his bs. hope things get better. amy

I actually get as good or better results on my arm as compared to my abdomen. I have found that I have less problems if the pod is nose up versus nose down...others have reported that too...

I do bump doorways occasionally...never had it come off though.

I actually can not use my abdomen for this reason. I don’t have issues with my arms, thighs, or low back/butt. My arms are more sensitive to the tape though and i have to use a barrier film on them.

Hi Daniel. I've only been on the POD since February this year, but here's my two cents. I use my arms as part of my regular rotation and do not have any issues at all with absorption. Once in a while, I'll bang it on a door jam, but not usually hard enough to knock it off. I tend to angle it a little inward towards the inside of my arm or right at at the back - not out in the open where banging is inevitable. Not too far in though or it hits the side of my ribcage.

I have yet to experience a canula not going in properly nor coming out on its own - maybe I'm just lucky, but I am a little careful in that I try hard not to pull off clothing without thinking where I put it last. I still run, exercise, and all that stuff, so I wouldn't say I'm all that easy on the POD but it has been working quite well. I do pinch up a bit when I activate a new pod which has really helped with consistant absorbtion.

My upper arms are my favorite sites. Never noticed an absorption problem there.

Thanks a lot for all the answers. Seems weird that everyone has the opposite reaction. And honestly it's weird to me - I would think with better blood flow there and more constant movement, I would get a better result and more "effective" insulin.

I typically get the best results on the backs of my arms and the outside of my thighs.

Don't understand all the people who seem to love the arms?!

I tried my arm once, never again. It was knocked off within hours of placing. Plus, it can't be hidden on my arms as well as my stomach, hips, back legs.... well, almost anywhere else. When I work out I wear a tank and I don't like it so obvious. Also, I can "feel" it there. It's like it's hanging out in space, just asking to be knocked off! The other place I don't like is my thigh, absorption didn't seem good. I run so I don't know if there's more muscle there or what. I still love my stomach, there's nothing better. It is hidden under most clothing, it feels protected and safe there but I try to rotate it out so it doesn't get over used. I guess my second choice is my back hip and third my thigh.

I use upper arms all the time, it's out of the way & forgotten, and absorbs well, for the most part. Once in a great while I have one of those frustrating mega-bolusing events like you mentioned with little influence on my numbers. But I don't think that's an arm thing. I'm not sure what it was. Since I've improved eating & exercise habits and bolus 15-20 minutes before I eat, it seems to be a thing of the past. I'm about the same build as you, 6 ft, 230 lbs. Good luck with finding a site that works better for you.

Yes, I have problems with the absorption on my arms. For best results, I have to do a pod change before eating, and it still sometimes takes multiple corrections before the site is absorbing well. Of course, the next time I use my arm, it might work 100% right away. I prefer to use spaces on my back, never a absorption issue.

I'm also in the 'nose up' camp. I've been on the pod for a year and a half now and both times I put the pod on my arm 'nose down' toward my elbow - it failed immediately. So I always put them pointing toward my shoulder now.

I also haven't notice any difference in absorption as I rotate between my abs and my arms. I do notice it takes a while for it to get going after changing, no matter the sight.

I have encountered similar problems with the arm location with regard to bumping things, it has forced me to be more aware of the pod. On the other hand, this turned out to be the ideal location for me when practicing Underwater Hockey so I am happy with it. I have had no problem with BG so far, that I can associate with a specific pod location.

I like wearing the pod on the back of my arms. It is pretty much out of the way. And, like Daniel, I'm pretty active and have knocked the canula out a couple of times. I'm going to try an arm-band. Has anyone used these? How'd they work for you?

I think it makes a difference where you place the pod on your arm. I have found better absorption the higher I place the pod on my arm (about 1 inch below the armpit). Also, my right arm has better absorption versus my left (I carry my kids around on my left). If you are worried about knocking it off try to place it almost under your arm with only part of the pod on your side arm. My rep recommended this placement and it seems to work well.

I rarely use my left arm because of absorption issues, but my right arm is great. I'm almost through my second year on the pod.