The month of Ramadan has begun and if statistics are to be believed, India has the third largest Muslim population in the world who will be fasting every day for the next couple of days. While it is a personal choice for diabetics to fast during Ramadan, experts feel that there are ways that diabetics can go about fasting by practicing caution. During Ramadan, the gap between meals ranges from 12 to 15 hours, which can be a problem since diabetics are advised to have regular and timely meals.
Fasting results in metabolic changes and hence it is important to adjust the diabetes management plan. Patients with Type 1 diabetes who have a history of recurrent hypoglycemia are at a higher risk if they fast. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia may also occur in patients with Type 2 diabetes but less frequently and with less severe consequences as compared to patients with Type 1 diabetes.
Here are some food tips that diabetics should follow during Ramadan:
Frequent monitoring of blood sugar level is key to safe fasting for diabetics. It is critical for patients to monitor their blood sugar level multiple times through the day.
Do not overeat. One of the main reasons behind Ramadan fasting is to learn to curb your desires and tune into Allah and pay attention to body signals and understand hunger.
At Iftar, break your fast with sugar-free and decaffeinated drinks to rehydrate your body and avoid dehydration.
Limit the consumption of sweets during Ramadan.
Include fruits, vegetables, pulses and curd in your diet.
Do not sleep soon after your dinner; allow an interval of 2 hours. Avoid complex carbs right before bedtime.
Ensure right nutrient intake at the time of Sehri. Suggested items include whole grain bread, whole grain low sugar cereals, beans, and lentils.
Avoid deep fried foods such as paratha, puri, samosa, Chwera, and pakoras. Starch containing items such as rice and wheat chapatti can be consumed. But time them right.
Here are some signs you need to watch out for:
Sudden fall in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), causing seizures and unconsciousness.
An inordinate increase in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) causing blurry vision, headache, increased fatigue and thirst.
Diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication causing vomiting, dehydration, and coma.
Thrombosis which leads to a formation of a blood clot inside blood vessels, potentially a precursor to organ damage and even death.
It is worth reemphasizing that fasting during Ramadan is a personal choice for diabetics. The decision should be made keeping in mind religious guidelines for exemption and after careful medical consultation to ensure a safe and healthy Ramadan.
Also Read: CAN YOU CATCH INFECTION BY SOMEONE’S SWEAT?