Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is an important spiritual practice for Muslims. Diabetic patients can fast safely in most cases, if certain measures are taken.
Every person is different however, and fasting may affect diabetics in some cases or even lead to serious hypoglycaemic complications. Consultation with your doctor is advisable before you begin fasting. You will receive individual information on what exactly to consider and how you can modify your diabetes management. Instructions will be provided regarding glucose monitoring, the risks of fasting, nutrition and exercise. Your doctor will also advise you on any necessary changes to your medication.
Diabetic patients are at risk for hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia during fasting periods. The individual risk of developing these complications is divided into four groups. Fasting is not recommended for patients with very high risk of complications, however they can be allowed to fast under special observation. Low and moderate risk patients may enjoy their Ramadan fasting without restriction.
Special emphasis must be given in any case to regular timings of blood sugar control. We suggest six daily measurements during Ramadan: before dawn, at morning time, noon, afternoon, at Iftar and later in the evening. If the values deteriorate or the fasting person becomes ill, they should end the fast that day and eat and drink.
Careful attention should also be given to the diet during the ‘non-fasting’ night-time period. Drink plenty of water and consume sugar-free drinks instead of sugary fizzy drinks. Eat fibre-rich foods including whole grain carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables to avoid constipation. Meals should be formed around carbohydrates such as brown rice, potatoes, bread and multigrain cereals. Focus on a balanced meal without excess sweet and fatty foods.
Please join our Amber Diabetes Registry or our Amber Diabetes Patient Education Programme. Our highly specialised interdisciplinary Diabetes Care Team is looking forward to taking care of you.
As Amber Clinics consider Diabetes Registry and Interactive Diabetes Education as a Corporate Social Responsibility, attendance of both programmes is free of cost for everybody.
Diabetes and risk of complication
1. Very High Risk
Patients with severe or repeated hypoglycaemia, ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, sustained poor glycaemic control, Type 1 diabetes, pregnancy, chronic dialysis
2. High risk
Patients with moderate hyperglycaemia, renal insufficiency, advanced vascular complications, living alone and treated with Insulin, old age with ill health
3. Moderate risk
Well-controlled patients with short acting insulin secretagogues
4. Low risk
Well-controlled diabetes treated with lifestyle therapy, Metformin, Acarbose, Thiazolidinediones, and/or Incretin based therapies in otherwise healthy patients
Al Rigga and International City
Al Noor Polyclinics
Deira and Satwa
Dr Joseph Polyclinic
Karama and Al Qusais
Phone: 050 153 0873