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Diabetes and ramadan

 Fasting poses significant risks to people with diabetes| because the combination of long periods without food together with diabetes medications| can result in very low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia|), or in very high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia|) if insulin| or medication doses are reduced excessively to try to prevent hypos. In addition, restricting fluids during fasting can cause dehydration.

During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are obliged to fast between sunrise and sunset, abstaining from all food and drink during daylight hours. People who are sick, including people with diabetes, do not have to fast during Ramadan as the Koran exempts them from doing so. Despite this, some people with diabetes may still wish to observe Ramadan by fasting. If so, it is important that they seek advice from their diabetes healthcare team in order to understand the risks involved and how these might be reduced.

People whose diabetes is well controlled by either diet| or diabetes drugs| may be at lower risk of health problems during fasting than people who have recently experienced complications| relating to their diabetes or whose blood glucose is poorly controlled. Doctors are likely to recommend that people at greater risk do not fast at all.

People with diabetes who wish to fast are encouraged to monitor their blood glucose| more frequently during fasting, and to remember the usual advice that applies to eating different types of foods. For example, many of the foods that are commonly used to break fast during Ramadan (at Iftar) are high in carbohydrate| and fat. The early-morning meal (Sehri) should be eaten as late as possible. Doses of insulin| or diabetes drugs| will need adjustment. However, if glucose levels become either too high or too low, the fast should be broken immediately.

Download an information leaflet on Fasting during Ramadan below:

 

 

 

Features

Overview

Overview
Description
The goal of diabetes management is to reduce the harmful effects of having either too much or too little glucose in the blood by maintaining blood glucose levels within a target range.

Hypoglycaemia (hypos)

Hypoglycaemia (hypos)
Description
Hypoglycaemia means having too little glucose (sugar) in the blood. Having a hypoglycaemic attack (or 'hypo') is one of the most common complications of diabetes.

Dietetic advice

Dietetic advice
Description
Diabetes specialist dietitians provide nutritional assessments and dietary advice and support to patients with diabetes