May 17, 2022
Diabetes

Ramadan is just around the corner… Fasting is considered a religious obligation. 

While Muslims around the world are fasting, many others find themselves struggling with the questions like fasting with a particular medical condition.

This takes in diabetes, pregnancy and many other such conditions. We know that such people may find it difficult to fast due to dropping sugar levels and associated health complications associated with the condition.

I recently came across this situation when one of my colleagues, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, attempted to fast. She was in her early 20s when an accidental glucose fasting test in Islamabad resulted in her diabetes diagnosis. After one month, when Ramadan began, she started fasting, and we found her unconscious on the floor earlier in the morning. 

Fasting with Diabetes – How to Do it Safely?

I know many people among you can relate to the situation. 

Suffering from extremely low blood glucose levels is one of the common complications associated with fasting with diabetes.

If you are someone who is diabetic and planning to fast then I am sure you must be wondering about the ways you can do it safely. Don’t worry I have got your back, here are the tips that can help you to fast safely with diabetes. 

1- Talk to your doctor first

When it comes to making a wise decision regarding fasting with diabetes, the first person you should go to is your physician. 

Tell them about your medical history, you’re existing medical conditions and any other related complications. Let your physician determine whether you can fast or not. Not only this, they are going to take your other health parameters into account and are going to make necessary changes to your treatment plan and existing routine.

2- Keep a check on your glucose level

With time, make sure to monitor your blood glucose level from time to time. 

Do it during the fasting period and right after you open your fast. This is going to tell you about your blood sugar level condition and going to minimize your risk of suffering from low or high blood sugar levels while fasting. These fluctuating glucose levels can be extremely harmful to you, and you need to keep an eye on how fasting changes this for you.

3- Make wise food choices

Fasting and diabetes – it’s all about the glucose level changes that you can experience. 

Your food choices have a great impact on your overall health and more importantly on your glucose levels. Try to pick the foods wisely. Here are some of the best tips that you can follow. 

  • Whenever choosing the carbs, go for the complex carb sources. These carb sources are difficult to digest and slowly release the sugar in your blood. Go for whole wheat sources other than the processed carbs
  • Don’t go for liquid sugars especially in iftar because this is going to spike up your blood sugar level
  • Add more and more fiber to your diet
  • Adding protein sources such as lean meat, legumes and beans can be a good idea
  • Other than this, raw fruits and vegetables are surely a good addition to your daily diet.

4- Keep Yourself Hydrated

Just like the food choices, it is also important to keep yourself hydrated. When there is enough water present in your body, you are less likely to experience fluctuating blood glucose levels. Here are some of the best hydration tips to follow in Ramadan. 

  • Drink plenty of water during the times when you are not fasting
  • Other than water, make sure to add water rich-fruits and vegetables to your diet
  • Avoid fried and sugary foods as these can be draining
  • Avoid too much exposure to heat, whether coming from sun or stove
  • Limit your caffeine consumption as well as it can result into dehydration
  • Avoid dark-colored clothing as these tend to absorb more heat.

5- Don’t Overeat 

Being a diabetic, I know you can be worried about your blood glucose level. This may give you the feeling that the more you eat in the suhoor, the less you have to worry about low glucose levels during the day. 

However, that’s not true. Eating too much is only going to spike your blood glucose levels up and result in signs and symptoms that can be concerning. Make sure you prefer quantity over quality and rather than eating too much, you eat the foods that are good for your energy and your health as well. 

Bottom Line!

Fasting in Ramadan can be more difficult for some people such as diabetics and pregnant women. 

It is permissible to quit fasting if you are not in good physical condition. However, if that’s not the case, then you can fast safely without harming your health. All the tips mentioned above can be your sure shot if you want to fast safely with diabetes. However, it is equally important to keep an eye on the warning signs and seek out help from your physician, so they can help you with the revised treatment plan and instructions.