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Management Of Diabetes During Ramadan Fasting

When Ramadan is during hot summer months like it is this year. During Ramadan fasting 8 hours after our last meal our bodies start to use energy stores to keep our blood glucose levels normal. 

With long hours of fasting, this can also cause additional health problems like a high risk of hypoglycemia and dehydration, especially if you have diabetes your body cannot use the glucose as well.

In Ramadan Fasting among patients with type 1 diabetes understands that they are at a higher risk as compared to type 2 diabetes, generally, it is safe to fast during Ramadan, provided that you talk to your doctor about your plans and prepare yourself well. But it is not safe for everyone living with type 2, especially those who have poorly controlled diabetes. 

It is important for people with diabetes to eat enough to keep nourished but to eat healthy foods when the hours of daylight of over at dusk the fasting period is broken until dawn.

Tips For Management Diabetes During Ramadan:

Diabetes education during Ramadan is an essential tool for the management of diabetes during the fasting period and after breaking the fast. Hypoglycemia, high blood sugar levels, and dehydration can be dangerous if you are a diabetic patient. 

  • People who have their diabetes under control by using tablets like Metformin, Sitagliptin, Linagliptin, Pioglitazone, and Dapagliflozin, as well as injections like Liraglutide should ensure that they visit their doctor prior to Ramadan, in order to discuss any possible changes to their drug regime which would facilitate a safe fast. If not, such patients are at risk of poor control of their diabetes during and outside the fasting times.
  • People who have diabetes and use insulin injections more than two times a day advised not to fast.
  •  For patients with diabetes who choose to fast should be Focus on self-care and the regulation of medication and meal timing.
  • Regular self-monitoring of blood glucose level is strongly advised.
  • Diabetic patients should avoid eating large amounts of food at the break of the fast. Instead, patients with diabetes should take two or three smaller meals in the non-fasting period
  • Pre-dawn meal (suhoor) should be eaten as close to the start of the fast as possible.
  • Foods rich in complex carbohydrate are preferable at suhoor such as multigrain bread, oat-based cereals, basmati rice together with beans, pulses, lentils, fruit and vegetables, chapati and semolina because they are digested over a number of hours.
  • Sugary foods are preferable at the break of fast for diabetic patients. Dates consumption is improving glycemic and lipid control in patients with diabetes and a possible reduction in cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Diabetic patients Should avoid overeating and remember to drink plenty of water. Fear of hypoglycemia may also cause a person to overeat at suhur thus raising blood Glucose.
  • Avoid skipping predawn meals.
  • Should avoid strenuous physical activity during the fasting period.
  • At the end of fasting, you should drink plenty of sugar-free and decaffeinated fluids to avoid being dehydrated.

Approaching the fast in Ramadan with discipline and maintaining a balanced diet is the key to successful fasting. 
In case diabetic patient feel any symptoms of hypoglycemia like blurred or double vision, headache, nausea, lack of concentration, weakness in the legs, feeling panic or anxiety, sweating, rapid heartbeat, trembling, sleepiness, excessive hunger, tingling of lips and tongue, looking pale, under severe circumstances there might even be unconsciousness patients might need to breakfast, and if diabetic person have high blood glucose level which is the opposite of hypoglycemia and may experience drowsiness, thirst, nausea, stomach pain, patients may frequently need to use the bathroom, flushed, dry skin, under severe circumstances, diabetic person may even fall unconscious, do not ignore the symptoms, or wait for them to aggravate. Breakfast if diabetic person notice that any of the above is happening. 

Remember that if you cannot fast, you can complete your duties by offering charity or providing food to the poor. Speak to your local Imam for more information about this, or use Muslim charities such as Islamic Relief, Islamic Aid, and Muslim Aid. 


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