Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 January 2020

Diabetic Muslims advised to think of their health during Ramadan

The International Diabetes Federation has issued a Ramadan booklet with guidelines on how diabetics can fast safely during the Holy Month.
The International Diabetes Federation has issued a Ramadan booklet with guidelines on how diabetics can fast safely during the Holy Month. Sarah Dea / The National
The International Diabetes Federation has issued a Ramadan booklet with guidelines on how diabetics can fast safely during the Holy Month. Sarah Dea / The National

DUBAI // Diabetic Muslims are being urged to consider their health as well as worship during Ramadan.

The International Diabetes Federation has issued a booklet with guidelines on how those with the condition can fast safely during the holy month.

The advice was announced at a Dubai conference hosted by the federation, the Emirates Diabetes Society, the Diabetes and Ramadan International Alliance and pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

Dr Shaukat Sadikot, president-elect of the federation, said the number of diabetics around the world was increasing at “tsunamic speeds”, so it was important the correct information was available.

“The basic structure of this advice can be adapted to suit the needs of Muslims all over the world,” he said.

“In Scandinavia, for example, Muslims could be fasting for up to 22 hours, so they must consider their health.

“We need to come down from our academic ivory towers to find out what the facts are about fasting during Ramadan for diabetics.”

Religious leaders are being encouraged by the federation to attend workshops to understand what advice can be given to diabetics at mosques in the UAE, so they learn when it is safe to fast.

Health experts advised those with Type 1 diabetes, pregnant women and anyone with a serious medical condition not to fast as it could risk their health.

Complications some people may experience during Ramadan included irregular blood-sugar levels, dehydration or diabetic ketoacidosis, which in some cases can lead to a coma or death.

It was recommended that a diabetic’s diet during Ramadan should be comparable to that for the rest of the year.

Recommendations for diabetics fasting were based on expert opinion, rather than data because of a lack of studies on the subject.

The Epidemiology of Diabetes and Ramadan study in 2001 found 42.8 per cent of Type 1 diabetics and 78.7 per cent with Type 2 fasted for at least 15 days during Ramadan.

“It is important we give the best and most practical advice to ensure people take care of their health during Ramadan,” said Dr Mohamed Hassanein, chairman of Diabetes and Ramadan International Alliance.

The information book is available online at idf.org.

nwebster@thenational.ae

Updated: April 14, 2016 04:00 AM

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