Leicester Mercury

Ramadan advice on fasting for diabetics



MUSLIMS who live with diabetes are being offered help and advice to stay healthy during Ramadan – and to mark the occasion safely during the pandemic.

Ramadan will run from April 11 or 12. While the Koran requires Muslims to fast during the month from sunrise to sunset, there are exceptions, including for people who are unwell or have medical conditions such as diabetes. Diabetes UK said:

If you are unwell or have any symptoms of Covid-19, do not fast and call 111 for further advice;

If you do choose to fast, before you start, include more slowly absorbed foods, such as basmati rice and dhal, in your meal along with fruit and vegetables;

During your fast, if you already check your blood sugar levels, do this more often than usual;

When you break the fast, have only small quantities of food, and avoid only eating sweet or fatty foods;

Stay at home when possible and follow current restrictio­ns. Follow social distancing rules if visiting the mosque.

The charity said if you are observing Ramadan and have decided to fast, receiving the coronaviru­s vaccine does not break the fast. So people should get the vaccine if invited to.

Emma Elvin, senior clinical adviser at Diabetes UK, said: “We know ultimately it is a personal choice whether or not to fast, but if you do choose to fast when you have diabetes, you must take extra precaution­s to make sure you are not putting your health at risk.

“If you have diabetes, fasting can risk aggravatin­g complicati­ons associated with the condition, such as poor vision, heart or kidney disease, hypoglycae­mia and diabetic ketoacidos­is – conditions that can require emergency hospital treatment.

“If you’re fasting and you feel that you are having a hypo, check your blood sugars and, if you are, break your fast and take your usual hypo treatment followed by starchy food, otherwise you will harm your body and may need medical attention.

“If you’re showing any symptoms of Covid-19, our advice would be to not fast.”

Dr Zafar Iqbal, head of sports medicine at Crystal Palace FC, said: “Ramadan is a special time. However, even though it seems the end of the pandemic is in sight, it remains vital everyone does their best to stay fighting fit particular­ly for those with diabetes who are at increased risk.”

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