DHA warns diabetics fasting during Ramadan
Dubai, July 6, 2014
Dubai Health Authority’s Twitter Clinic @DHA_Dubai has highlighted precautions for diabetics who fast during Ramadan.
The panel of experts at the clinic included specialists from Dubai Hospital and the Dubai Diabetes Center, a specialised multi-disciplinary diabetes care and management centre, said a statement.
Dr Mohammed Belal Alshammaa, consultant endocrinologist at Dubai Diabetes Centre (DCC), said: “A majority of our patients prefer to fast during Ramadan despite having diabetes. While they are aware that they are exempt from fasting, they are keen to follow all the rituals of Ramadan.
“Therefore, we at the DHA provide them with all the information and medical advice necessary to ensure they do not suffer from complications of fasting.”
The DHA endocrinology and diabetes centres meet with patients prior to the holy month of Ramadan to check if the patient is medically capable of fasting as well as to adjust their medication and provide an individualised diet plan, said the statement.
“The most important step for any diabetic who chooses to fast is to ensure he visits a health practitioner so that the doctor can advise whether it is safe for him to fast and to gauge whether his body will be able to manage long hours of fasting,” said Dr Alshammaa.
“Once that is ascertained, the patient needs to modify the medication dosage-usually lower the dosage-to ensure they maintain their sugar levels.”
The self-monitoring of blood sugar is not only permitted but also essential during fasting and should be effectively utilised to avoid hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia, especially during the first few days of fasting, he said.
“During the first week, it is advisable to monitor the blood sugar several times a day-when the patient wakes up, before Asar prayer, before Iftar, two hours after Iftar and at Suhur so as to understand the pattern of their blood sugar levels and to adjust their medication if needed. If the sugar level is erratic, the patient should visit their doctor,” he added.
Dr Fathiya Al Awadi, head of endocrine unit at Dubai Hospital, said: “Self-monitoring of sugar, timely medication and right diet are all steps that diabetics need to take especially since their body does not have the ability to control fluctuations in blood sugar level. They also dehydrate faster especially when their sugar levels rise, therefore they need to ensure they take sufficient precautions to maintain their sugar levels while fasting.
“Diabetics who are insulin dependent, that is, primarily type 1 diabetics are considered to be high risk groups and usually we advise them not to fast because they are at a higher risk of developing hyper or hypoglycaemia. Type 2 diabetics can fast after adjusting their medication in consultation with their doctor and following all the recommendations.” - TradeArabia News Service