Pain In The Shoulder & Insulin Injections
QUESTION: My mother is 82 years old and has been on insulin injections for nearly 20 years.
Presently, she has excruciating pain in her shoulder and upper arm. She has tripled her weight since she is on insulin. She is always getting good blood results when she goes to the lab.
What are some adverse effects of taking insulin?
Is the pain related to the drug or just 'old age'?
Your timely response will be greatly appreciated. ANSWER
: Hi Marge,
Before asking your question, I should know:
- Where does your mother do the insulin shots? I mean, is the upper arm the most common site of injections?
- Does your mother feel pain in the whole shoulder or upper arm? Or does she feel pain exactly at the site of the injections?
It is very important to have these answers to understand better what is going on with your mother.
However, in lack of such data, I could generally say:
- If your mom is feeling pain exactly at the site of injections
, you should change site. In other words, ask your doctor or nurse for alternative sites.
It is better not to perform the injections at the muscle tissue, but mostly use fatty sites.
- Next, usually, insulin intake, unfortunately, is associated with increased weight
, especially of the fat tissue in the tummy, back, etc.
Therefore, as your mother is considered "very old", you should consult her doctor for other alternatives.
- It would be too much to ask your mother to be physically active. However, short walking can help her.
- In addition, if the pain is not at the site of injections, but is spread all over the shoulder or upper arm, then, it could be related to her old age or arthritis.
Specially, when it is cloudy and ready to rain, you mother can feel such pain.
If this is the case, pain killers can be used but be careful with their interaction with insulin. Specifically, NSAIDs can improve the effect of insulin and precipitate hypoglycemia
Your doctor or pharmacist could give you a more specific explanation when you take the medications.
Hope it helped!Dr.Alba
COMMENTSPain in the shoulder
The pain was not at the site of the injection clavicle/scapula area. She went to the doctor and thank God she is much better now.COMMENT-REPLY
Nice to hear that your mother's problem is resolved and she is much better now.
All the best!Dr.Alba