By Muslim Mirror News,
ALIGARH : “People with diabetes are exempted from fasting because marked departures from the usual amount and pattern of food and fluid intake during Ramadan fasting carries a risk of acute metabolic decompensation” said Prof. Jamal Ahmad, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology, J. N. Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University while delivering the lecture on Recommendations for Management of Diabetes during Holy Month of Ramadan.
He, however, clarified that study conducted in 13 Islamic countries showed that about 43% & 79% respectively of Muslims with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes fast during Ramadan meaning that more than 50 million with diabetes fast during Ramadan.
He said that fasting in Islam means absolute self-restrain from food, drink and sex from dawn to sunset, which is not a very difficult duty for healthy people. However, Qur’an specifically exempts people with a medical condition from the duty of fasting, especially if it might have harmful consequences.
Prof. Ahmad added that patients should be encouraged to maintain strict dietary habits and to resist any temptation to break their dietary restrictions. It is always emphasized that adherence to diabetic diet is essential during Ramadan in order to avoid the potential risk of hypoglycemia.
Regular consultation with the doctor, keeping the weight record, observing the warning symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia and taking medicine regularly is essential for diabetes patients. It is essential that patients have the means to monitor their blood glucose level multiple times daily. This is especially critical in patients with type 1 diabetes and in patients with type 2 diabetes who require insulin.
Prof. Ahmad further clarified that patients on Metformin and Sulfonylurea observing fast should continue the Metformin in the usual dose and take the sulfonylurea tablet before dinner. Those with Type 2 diabetes taking Metformin alone can undertake fast safely. They can take Metformin ones daily after the sunset meal.
Prof. Ahmad reiterated that diabetes patients must immediately end their fast if hypoglycemia occurs, since there is no guarantee that the blood glucose will not drop further if they wait or delay treatment. The fast should also be broken if blood glucose reaches low in the first few hours after the start of the fast or it exceeds.