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Diabetic? What about Ramadan?

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Ramadan is the 1st-30th April this Year.

What do you need to do to prepare?

Well, Islam says that  if you have diabetes you do not need to fast. However, some people with Diabetes might still like to fast.

It may be safe, but the risks include high blood sugar leading to severe illness, extremely low blood sugar that could lead to a coma, dehydration and blood clots. This does not need to be the case however…

We recommend that you see your doctor three months prior to Ramadan to  decide if it is safe for you as an individual to fast and to plan ahead.

So Who should definitely not fast? 

  • If you suffer with severe recurrent lows (Blood sugars less than 70mg/dl)
  • If you can’t feel when your blood sugar is extremely low. For example, you don’t get shaky, irritable, anxious sweaty or hungry so you aren’t aware that your blood sugar may be too low)
  • If your Diabetes is not well controlled. (Generally if your HbA1c is above 7.5%)
  • If you have had Ketoacidodis or hyperosmolar hyperglycemia in the 3 months before Ramadan
  • If you are pregnant.
  • If you have Type 1 Diabetes.

There are certain tips to fast more safely. For example choosing slow release starches instead of sugary fatty snacks and meals before and after fasting. You should test your blood sugar regularly during a fast and especially if you feel like your blood sugar is going too low. (You might feel sweaty, anxious, have palpitations, be very hungry, light headed or shaking.) TESTING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR DOES NOT CONSTITUTE BREAKING A FAST. If you do go too low then you must break your fast or risk extreme illness or death. You should also stop fasting if your blood sugar is higher than 300mg/dl or if you become dehydrated, or get an infection. Light to moderate exercise is safe, but avoid anything too strenuous or unusual in case it causes a low blood sugar, especially if you are on certain drugs. Special advice is needed for different drugs.

In general everyone’s situation is different so we recommend you see your doctor for individualized advice!