What is lipohypertrophy?

Jump To

Lipohypertrophy: Overview

Lipohypertrophy is fat tissue that builds up if you give your insulin shot in the same spot many times over time. The spot may start to feel firmer than the skin around it. This problem can lead to insulin not being absorbed at the same rate every time. This can cause high or low blood sugars.

The buildup of fat tissue can happen anywhere that insulin is given. It's common in the belly. That is the most common area for insulin shots. But it also can happen in the buttocks and the top outer part of the thighs and arms.

You may be able to prevent the buildup of fat by not injecting insulin in the same spot many times. You can do this by rotating where you inject insulin.

If you already have this problem, your doctor may suggest that you not inject insulin in the area of fat buildup for a few months.

Rotating spots for insulin shots

There are four areas of the body where you can give the insulin shot. You can use a different area for different times of the day. Areas include:

  • The belly, but at least 2 inches from the belly button.
  • The top outer area of the thighs.
  • The upper outer area of the arms.
  • The buttocks.

If you give your insulin in the same area at the same time of day, it will help you predict how the insulin will work for you. For example, if you inject into your thigh at every lunch, you will know more about how lunchtime insulin works for you.

Slightly change the spot within the injection area every time you inject insulin. Here is an example of rotating the spots where you give yourself your insulin shots. Follow this pattern for the rest of the week.

  • At noon on Monday, give your shot above your belly button.
  • For Monday dinner, give your shot into a spot on your thigh.
  • On Tuesday at noon, give your shot below your belly button.
  • For Tuesday dinner, give your shot into a slightly different spot on your thigh.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.