Management of Diabetes during Ramadan

  1. Should diabetic patients avoid fasting?

    Blood Glucose Test

    The American Diabetes Association highlights that diabetic patients run a risk of medical complications during fasting.
    However, as fasting is a personal decision, diabetic patients should discuss their treatment plan with their physicians at least 1-2 months before Ramadan begins.
  2. How to manage your diabetes during Ramadan?

    At least 1 - 2 months before Ramadan
    • Pre - Ramadan medical assessment
    • Speak to your physician for individualized advice so as to minimize the risk associated with fasting.
    During fasting, especially daytime
    • Monitor your blood sugar levels more frequently especially if you are on insulin therapy or multiple anti-diabetic medications. Test your blood sugar immediately if you experience hypoglycemic symptoms or are feeling unwell.
    During Iftar (sunset meal) or Suhur (predawn meal)
    • Avoid eating too much carbohydrates and fat, especially during Iftar.
    • Drink more water during non-fasting hours
    When exercising
    • Avoid excessive rigorous exercise especially before Iftar (sunset meal).
    • Change your exercise timing to about 2 hours after Iftar.
  3. What symptoms to look out for?
    • Chest pain
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Fruity odour on breath
    • Heart palpitation
    • Muscle cramps
    • Nausea & vomiting 
    • Weakness

When you feel unwell/ experience the symptoms above

  • Break your fast
  • Check your blood glucose immediately
  • Seek medical advice immediately if:
    • blood glucose < 3.3 mmol/L (60 mg/dL)
    • blood glucose < 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) in first few hours after starting of fast
    • Blood glucose > 16.7 mmol/L (300mg/ dL)
  • Call 995 if you need an ambulance immediately

Avoid fasting on sick days.

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