Diabetes and Ramadan Fasting

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More than 50 million people with Diabetes fast during Ramadan.

By Dr. Muneeb Ahmed Yasir

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. More than 50 million people with Diabetes fast during Ramadan.
During Ramadan about 60% of patients change their antidiabetic drug intake. 35% stop treatment, unfortunately, this is done at the patients own initiative without medical supervision. Recent advancements gives us the opportunity to offer the patients to have a normal or near normal life in Ramadan.

Patient needs to Consult the doctor first for:
Have Pre-Ramadan assessment
Proper education

Medications should be taken as:
Iftar: Full Morning Dose
Suhur: ½ Evening Dose
Insulin regimen during Ramadan needs to be modified and tailored for each individual patient.

Exercise in Ramadhan:
Physical activity should be reduced during day time
Exercise can be performed for an hour after Iftar or after Tarawih prayer

Special Precautions are Recommended:
To take Suhur close to Suhur time.
Drink plenty of water, about 2-3 litres/ day during non fasting time.
To change in the schedule, amount and composition of meals, but to keep the same calorie during Ramadan as before.
Practice fasting in Shaban first.
Anticoagulant and Aspirin medications should be given at night
Patients should monitor their blood glucose even during the fast to recognize unnoticed low or high sugar
Islam allows diabetics to have regular blood test while fasting
(Dr. Muneeb Ahmed Yasir is Visiting Consultant, Diabetes and Endocrinology
Prime Care hospital, M.M Road, Frazer town, Bangalore)