Fasting safely during Ramadan
June 23, 2014
The holy month of Ramadan begins this weekend for Muslims around the world. This month, when it is said Mohammed first received the revelations that led to the writing of the Quran, is one of the most important times of the year for those who follow Islam.
One of the key methods of observing this month is ongoing fasting. The problem, of course, is that fasting can be difficult and even dangerous for diabetics. Diabetic muslims are given the choice to fast, but many still wish to do so.
To that end, the group DiabetesUK has put together a presentation on the risks of fasting and tips for doing so safely during Ramadan.
Firstly, consult your doctor before fasting. Consider any complications you may have from your diabetes, including heart problems. If your doctor feels it is safe for you to fast, continue.
Be prepared to break your fast should you become hypoglycemic. Keep a sugary drink and some starchy food nearby where you can get it if you need to quickly manage your condition.
If you you and your doctor decide it is okay for you to try fasting, follow these tips:
If you are taking insulin, you will require less insulin before the start of the fast
The type of insulin may also need changing from your usual type
Pre-mixed insulin is not recommended during fasting
Before starting the fast, you should include more slowly absorbed food (low GI), such as rice, pitta bread and dhal, in your meal, along with fruit and vegetables
Check your blood glucose levels more often than you normally would
When you break the fast, have only small quantities food, and avoid only eating sweet or fatty foods
Try to eat just before sunrise, when you commence the next day's fast
At the end of fasting you should drink plenty of sugar-free and decaffeinated fluids to avoid being dehydrated.
For a video presentation, downloadable PDf and more on fasting during Ramadan, visit DiabetesUK’s website.