Chronic Ailments Diabetes

Diabetes and Ramadan: 10 Tips for Safe Fasting

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Ramadan is an important Muslim festival, celebrated across the world. In 2018, it begins on May 17th. As per world statistics, India has the 3rd largest Muslim population in the world. Moreover, fasting is a vital part of the religious rituals associated with Ramadan. During the holy month of Ramzan or Ramadan, young and old alike, observe fast during the day. This includes patients with diabetes as well. While fasting is a personal choice for all, here are expert tips for people with diabetes to observe Roza or fasting with caution.

In the month of Ramzan, the gap between meals goes up to 12 to 15 hours. This can pose a health problem for diabetes patients as they are advised to eat smaller, timely meals throughout the day. As Ramzan occurs in May this year, the daylight hours, i.e., the fasting period has increased. Therefore, diabetic patients who plan to fast during this holy month, should consult a doctor first and keep a close check on their blood sugar levels.

Observing fasts result in metabolic changes in the body, and therefore, one should a have a proper diabetes diet management plan in place. Blood sugar monitoring should be the most critical priority. This holds true for patients with Type 1 diabetes with a history of recurring hypoglycemia. A type 2 diabetes patient may experience both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Here are 10 essential Ramadan fasting tips for people with diabetes:

– It is imperative to monitor blood sugar multiple times in the day.

– On breaking the fast, eat moderately and do not overeat. The very idea behind observing fast during the holy month is to curb one’s desires.

– During Iftar, try and avoid sugary drinks. Break the fast with fruits or dry fruits. Keep yourself hydrated with water and healthy juices.

– Eat sweets in moderation. Avoid these if possible.

– Eat a lot of fruits, curd, and vegetables.

– Wait for at least two hours post-dinner before sleeping.

– Avoid eating complex carbohydrates before bedtime.

– At the time of Sehri, include nutritious food items such as whole grains, whole grain bread, beans, and lentils.

– Stay away from deep fried foods – puris, samosas, pakoras, etc.

– You can eat chapatis and rice. However, do not overindulge.

Please note: Avoid the following:

–    A sudden drop in BS levels, i.e., hypoglycemia. It can result in fainting spells and seizures.

–    A sudden increase in BS levels or hyperglycemia. This can result in headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, and thirst.

–    Diabetes patients should be aware of diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a complication, life-threatening event that causes coma, vomiting, and dehydration.

–    Beware of blood clot formations within the blood vessels or thrombosis can lead to organ damage and eventual fatality.

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