Diabetes and Ramadan: 10 Tips for Fasting Safely

by Dr. MagdyAllam, Specialist Endocrinology at Zulekha Hospital Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 14, 2021:As we begin the blessed month of Ramadan, diabetics start researching for answers to the many questions asked about them in relation to the obligation of fasting. The most common naturally is they fast during Ramadan or not?  Since the duration of the fasting period is as long as up to 14 hours, having to abstain from eating, drinking, and taking medicines means it is a challenge to regulate the level of sugar in the blood. And as fasting can affect the level of sugar in the blood, diabetics need to follow medical guidelines to avoid being affected by any serious complications and difficulty such as fatigue or tiredness. Dr. MagdyAllam, Specialist Endocrinology at Zulekha Hospital Dubai, provides tips and advice so that diabetics can fast safely during Ramadan:

1. We should point out that the decision to fast or not be calculated for each patient separately.

2. The ability of a patient to fast depend on: the type of diabetes – the type of treatment – the presence of complications or comorbidities.

3. Check if any of your medications need an adjustment in timing, dosage, or type.

4. Divide the daily calories between Suhoor and Iftar + 2-1 light meal

5. It is preferred to get high-fiber foods and eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and salads, while you should avoid excessive consumption of sweetened drinks and sugary sweets.

6. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids between breakfast and the pre-dawn meal, especially water

7. Smoking increases the risk of heart problems. Ramadan is a good time to exercise restraint and quit smoking.

8. The patient is advised to do a follow-up of blood sugar with a gluco meter, especially in the first days of fasting, such as ((two hours after the pre-dawn meal, noon, an hour before breakfast, two hours after breakfast)) and visit your  doctor to either adjust the  drug dosages or breaking the fast in some cases

 9. If the blood sugar level is lower than 70 mg/dL or higher than 300 mg/dL,break the fasting eventhough 1 minute before the sunset call to prayer (AZAN).

10. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are headache, double vision, slurred speech, impaired consciousness, sweating, tremors,palpation and in severe cases, convulsions or coma may occur.

Remember that God who commanded you to fast is the one who ordered you to break your fast when you are sick. May Allah (swt) accept all of our good deeds, wish you a safe fasting.