12 Jul 2024

Ramadan and your health: Advice for diabetics

Ramadan and your health: Advice for diabetics


Ramadan and your health: Advice for diabetics

“The Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan; the Quran is a guidance for people, it contains clear teachings and distinguishes right from wrong; whoever is present in the month must fast in it, but, if anyone is ill or on a journey, then let them fast an equivalent number of days later. Allah wants ease for you, not diffi-culty, and wants to see you complete the compulsory number of fasts. So, glorify Allah for guiding you, and be ever-thankful.” (The Majestic Quran 2:185)

Ramadan is a special time of the year. Fasting is a pillar of Islam it is obligatory for all adult Muslims during the month of Ramadan. There are opportunities to devote oneself to faith and get closer to Allah. Though it is mandatory for Muslims to fast during Ramadan, the Kind and Caring Lord blesses us with certain exceptions for those who may find it difficult to fast; one of these is ill health. Everyone has different health needs and some health conditions can make fasting difficult. Those who have any chronic illness like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions should consult with their Imam and doctor. It is important to listen to and understand both religious and medical advice before you fast. This will ensure you can do so safely. In this article I will offer my advice on the latest medical recommendations and management when fasting if you have diabetes.

According to latest research in the UK, about 1 in 15 people are now living with diabetes. There is evidence suggesting the beneficial effect of intermittent fasting on weight reduction and certain other health condition. However, the evidence of any benefit for people with unstable diabetes is not strong. If you suffer with diabetes and decide to fasts without prior consultation with your doctor, you run the risk of getting low blood sugar (the medical term is hypoglycaemia). Diabetes UK has published a detail guidance on management of diabetes during Ramadan. The guideline is free available in multiple languages on their website.

The guidance suggests that people with Type 1 diabetes are particularly exempt from fasting because of the significant risk associated health complication that could occur during prolong intermittent fasting. People with Type 2 diabetes without another health condition may fast under certain conditions with careful management and prior planning. This should involve a Pre-Ramadan consultation with their diabetes team to make necessary adjustments in blood sugar monitoring and medications. Lets benefit from the spring of righteousness, Ramadhan in an intelligent manner. 

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