Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Diabetics told of healthy way to fast in Ramadan

Doctors are advising diabetics to monitor their blood sugar and exercise, among other precautions, while they fast during Ramadan.

DUBAI // Ali Abutalib says Ramadan is his "healthiest" month of the year.

The 50-year-old Emirati was diagnosed last year with high blood sugar, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, and says he pays closer attention to his diet while he is fasting.

"Usually, when people break their fast, they break everything," he said. "They have all kinds of sweets, and all kinds of soups. I just go for three dates and a cup of water, or labneh. After that, a cup of soup and some watermelon."

Mr Abutalib attended a lecture yesterday at Al Wasl Hospital in Dubai. It aimed to instruct people with diabetes on healthy ways to fast during Ramadan.

Overindulgence and a lack of physical activity are among the main problems that diabetics must counter while fasting, said Dr Inaam Ibrahim Kandil, the head of diabetes education co-ordination at the Dubai Diabetes Center.

The centre, which is the diabetes care arm of the Dubai Health Authority, held the lecture.

While acknowledging Ramadan is a way of life for Muslims, Dr Kandil said there are healthy ways to fast. Type 2 diabetics, she said, must control their blood sugar and exercise. "For Muslim people, in general ... their belief is fasting is one of the basic tenets of Islam, and they have to fast whether they are sick or ill," said Dr Kandil, who gave a presentation at the lecture. "Not fasting is not an option for them."

But, she added: "You have to eat proper meals that are adequate in all nutrients ... and you have to practice some exercise, especially after breaking the fast."

Taraweeh, the daily prayers conducted especially during Ramadan, could be counted as exercise, she said, adding that "testing blood sugar level will make them more aware of their decision in case they need to break the fast".

Dr M Hamed Farooqi, the director of the diabetes centre, said it is permissible for certain diabetics, under Islam, to be excused from fasting during the holy month.

He said in an interview: "The issue is the overwhelming majority wants to fast.

"We then have to look at their full medical background and see if it is really, medically feasible."

The lecture came on the heels of a diabetes-friendly menu introduced across several Middle Eastern hotels earlier this week, as part of the drive to help people who suffer from diabetes.

The UAE has the second highest diabetes rate in the world, behind the small Pacific island of Nauru, and will host the World Diabetes Congress in Dubai later this year.

zalhassani@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 An tenant in the Al Barsha area of Dubai has been sent a non-renewable contract by the landlord. Randi Sokoloff / The National

Dubai landlord refuses to pay back Rera fees after losing rent case

Keren Bobker helps a tenant who wants to know how to reclaim his RERA case fees and who has also been sent a contract with a “one-year nonrenewable” note.

 A Brabus Mercedes 6x6 Sports Utility Vehicle is readied for display during Auto China 2014 in Beijing, on April 20. Adrian Bradshaw / EPA

In pictures: Auto China 2014 exhibition

Leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the kickoff of China’s biggest car show, but lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions in the world’s largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased.

 A customer looks at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy.  Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP Photo

Nintendo’s Game Boy at 25: hand-held legacy lives on

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National