The annual Muslim fasting season just began on 5th May, it is a time of prayer and denying themselves food, drink and medications from dawn to dusk.
There are many benefits of fasting especially fasting for spiritual nourishment. Fasting may be something normal for any person but for diabetic people it may pose a risk.
Although the Qur’an exempts people with a medical condition from the duty of fasting, many people living with diabetes still choose to fast, despite the health risks.
It is advisable for all Diabetics to seek medical advice before embarking on the one-month fasting journey.
A study led by Dr Mohamed Hassanein published on the International Diabetes Federation website says an individualised management plan, nutritional plan, as well as medication adjustments should be considered before fasting to combat the health hazards.
“The rising prevalence of diabetes in the Muslim population, combined with the high numbers that participate in fasting, creates a pressing need for effective guidance for the management of diabetes during Ramadaan” says Hassanein.
Muslims wake up well before dawn to eat the first meal of the day, and have to abstain until sunset.
That can be challenging for people living with diabetes, particularly for patients with type 1 diabetes, who are dependent on insulin.
Sheik says the lack of food and water during the day, along with the heavy meals eaten before and after fasting, can create serious health issues for people living with diabetes.
“This can lead to serious complications among which are low or high blood sugar levels.
If you have type 1 diabetes or you are a high risk type 2 diabetes patient, guidelines advise that you should not fast.
However, should you choose to fast, your doctor will want to ensure that your blood sugar is regularly monitored to prevent any health risks, and may even need to adjust medication doses according to your food intake and activity.
“It is important to remember that your prescribed medication may also influence your ability to fast.