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Advice for Diabetics Who Want to Fast during Ramadan

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Advice for Diabetics Who Want to Fast during Ramadan
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  • Qatar Diabetes Society offer expert tips on fasting safely during Ramadan.
    1. People with diabetes should frequently do a blood sugar test, especially on the first week of Ramadan to make sure that their blood sugar level is in the desired range. A blood sugar test does not invalidate your fasting.
    2. If you feel any symptom of low blood sugar, or if your blood sugar test result is less that 70 mg/dl, break your fast immediately.
    3. To avoid dehydration and protect your kidneys when living with diabetes, you should drink plenty of water between Iftar and Suhoor.
    4. The following foods cause a sharp increase in your blood sugar level: Juices, dates, pastries and desserts. Avoid them or eat them sparingly.
    5. Family support during Ramadan is very important; It is advisable for the whole family to adopt healthy food choices and maintain an active lifestyle.
    6. Carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels the most – be aware of the amount you consume in order to avoid a spike in your blood sugar. Carbohydrates are found in rice, pasta, bread and pastries, starchy vegetable, legumes and pulses, fruits and fruit juices, sweet beverages and desserts.
    7. Food with excessive amount of fat, such as fried food and desserts, cause a prolonged rise in your blood sugar increase. Try to make your meals less fatty
      (grill your sambousa and qatayef instead of frying them).
    8. People with diabetes who use insulin injections are advised by medical and religious leaders not to fast (especially children and pregnant women), to avoid any risk of acute complications such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and Ketoacidosis.
    9. People with diabetes are encouraged to discuss with their physician the right steps to take when fasting. Generally those who use medication or diet therapy and have a stable blood sugar level can fast safely by following physician advice and monitoring blood sugar more frequently.
    10. To remain well hydrated it is preferable that you decrease the intake of caffeine which might increase the frequency to urinate such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
    11. To reduce the risk of low blood sugar during your fasting day, your Suhoor meal must include protein such as cheese, yoghurt and egg and food items that are rich in fibers, such as: oats, beans, lentils, chickpeas.
    12. Vegetables are healthy and low in calories with a good effect on your blood sugar. Include it in every meal or snack.
    13. Keep your portions small to moderate to avoid weight increase during Ramadan.
    14. People with diabetes should always test their blood sugar before driving, especially while fasting, and that is to make sure they don’t have a low blood sugar.
    15. Before Ramadan, check with your doctor / health educator whether you are allowed to fast or not, and how to adjust your medication in case you were allowed to fast.
    16. Avoid physical activity during fasting hours, especially before Iftar time, and avoid sleeping for a long time while fasting, especially in the afternoon period and before Iftar time.
    17. Remember to delay the Suhoor meal as much as possible, to avoid having a low blood sugar during fasting hours.
    18. Always carry glucose tablets, juice or candy to quickly treat low blood sugar while praying Tarawih at the mosque.
    19. Monitoring your blood glucose level is very important at all times during Ramadan, so make sure you keep your blood sugar testing machine close to you.
    20. Try to maintain your blood sugar level between 100 – 200 mg/dl during fasting hours to avoid hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
  • For questions or inquiries during Ramadan, contact QDA hotline on: 44547311 or 55274919 from 08:00 am until 01:00 pm. For medication instruction or more information, contact our doctors on: 55981331 from 08:00 pm until 11:30 pm.