Did you know that fear of needles affects up to 25% of U.S. adults? That’s a lot. Similarly, diabetes affects up to 30% of the U.S. population. When you are newly diagnosed with diabetes and learning the ins and outs of the condition, needles soon become a very prominent part of daily life. From fingerpricks to injections, there’s no real way to avoid using needles to properly manage the condition.
By definition, needle phobia is the fear of injections and transfusions. The severity of this condition varies from person to person and we recommend speaking with your doctor to learn more about how to treat this issue. When it comes to diabetes, a phobia can be a very serious threat to ones well being as it might inhibit someone from managing their condition. A fear of needles can similarly be disrupting as it might cause people to avoid to check their blood sugar or take their medicine on time.
Needle phobia is caused by a number of scenarios. For example, having a painful experience getting your blood drawn or getting a shot. Some of the most severe reactions of needle phobia includes such as nausea, fainting, sweating, and more.
One of the most triggering parts for people is seeing the needle itself. One way to help with this is hiding the needle. There are several options for testing your blood sugar that can help with this.
One option is to use medical safety lancets. Pip lancets are an all-in-one disposable lancet device that never exposes the needle. Each lancet comes inside a preloaded device. Simply twist off the cap, place the Pip lancet against your finger, and the needle activates. You never see the needle, and once complete, you can simply throw the device away. This helps with reducing anxiety and fear of needle sticks – For many new diabetics, the idea of sticking your finger with a needle throughout the day can cause fear and anxiety. Seeing the needle with traditional lancets can make a person hesitant, often resulting in poor sticks and the need for additional sticks. Pip lancets contain the needle, never exposing it to view. For many, this makes it much less stressful to perform regular blood sugar testing.
Pip lancets come in a variety of needle sizes and lengths. Small, thin needles are comfortable for most people, while those with thicker skin may choose a larger and longer option.
Another option that is starting to become more widely adapted is continuous glucose monitors. This requires far less fingerpricks. The device is inserted into your test site and stays there for up to two weeks depending on which device you are using. The CGM stays in place and instead of having to prick your finger to check your blood sugar, your glucose is constantly being read. All you have to do is check your monitor. This of course tends to be a much more expensive option. However, if you are testing more than two or three times a day and face a fear of needles this could be a very helpful option.