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Diabetes and Ramadan: Practical Guidelines

Ramadan is widely observed across the world. Followers must refrain from eating and drinking between dawn (suhoor) and sunset (iftar), and must also abstain from using oral medications, sexual activity and smoking.

Fasting is mandatory for all Muslim adults, with certain groups exempted. These include:

  • Children
  • The elderly
  • People with an illness
  • Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating

Many Muslims, even those who could seek exemption, have an intense desire to participate in fasting during Ramadan.

Due to the metabolic nature of the condition, people with diabetes are at particular risk of complications from marked changes in food and fluid intake. Potential complications include:

  • Low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia)
  • High blood glucose (hyperglycaemia)
  • Dehydration
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), in people with type 1 diabetes

Estimates suggest that there are over 150 million Muslims with diabetes worldwide. Despite being exempt, many people with diabetes participate in fasting during Ramadan. Therefore, Ramadan has a major impact on the management of diabetes in the Muslim population.

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By habiba
Apr 14, 2016
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