Ramadan and diabetes joslin diabetes center electricity and magnetism worksheets 8th grade


Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is an important spiritual practice. When you have diabetes, you may be wondering how fasting will affect your diabetes. There is a lot of misinformation about diabetes and Ramadan. This handout is written to answer some of the most common questions.

No. This is based on the Holy Quran as well as the teachings of Islamic religious scholars over centuries. The Quran states that there are groups of people who do not have to fast, especially if it puts their health at risk. This includes children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, the elderly and anyone who might make themselves ill by fasting. This also includes people with poorly controlled diabetes, people with type 1 diabetes who take insulin or type 2 on a mixed insulin regimen or those who often have very high or very low blood glucose levels.

It is true, many people with diabetes can fast safely, but each person is different. Part of the decision you will make with your doctor has to do with the kind of diabetes medicine you take. It is important to schedule an appointment 2-3 months before Ramadan to discuss how fasting might affect your diabetes. Your doctor or healthcare provider may suggest a change in your medication plan.

• Low blood glucose (or hypoglycemia) – The risk of blood glucose levels going too low is highest in people taking insulin or certain diabetes pills. Limit physical activity during fasting hours and be more active after sunset. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out if your medicine puts you at risk for low blood glucose and discuss how to prevent it.

• High blood glucose (or hyperglycemia) – While low blood glucose levels may happen during the day, after the fast is broken, there is a greater risk to overeat. Watch out for eating too many sweets and keep the portion sizes moderate. Even though Ramadan is known as a time of fasting – it is not uncommon for people to gain weight during this month, as in some families, every evening meal is a celebration.

If glucose levels do fall below 70, take 15 grams of carbohydrate in the form of one of these: 4 glucose tablets, 6 oz regular soda, 4 oz fruit juice or 1 tube glucose gel. Wait 15 minutes and recheck again. Follow with a snack if the evening meal is not for more than an hour.

No. You continue taking your diabetes medicine, but you will take it at different times. Your dose may also change. This is one reason why it is very important to talk with your healthcare provider several months before Ramadan so you can plan ahead for how your diabetes medicines may need to change.

The dawn meal (Suhoor) should contain a balance of whole grain sources of starchy carbohydrates as well as some protein and fat to help slow the digestion and help the feeling of fullness last as long as possible into the day. Healthy breakfast options good for the hot summer month of Ramadan include:

Traditionally the fast is broken (Iftar) after sunset and begins with the eating of dates and drinking water. Limit dates to 1-2 each evening. Drink plenty of water and sugar free beverages though out the evening, but avoid caffeine beverages as they can be dehydrating.

While the iftar meal is a celebration time, aim to not overeat. Discuss a plan with your dietitian. Keep sensible portions in mind and follow the same guidelines for healthy eating that you do the rest of the year with an emphasis on whole grains, lean sources of meat, fish and poultry, small amounts of heart healthy fats and limit added sugars.