Women, men & family

Advice from Experts: Diabetes & Ramadan


I would like to share some tips with our diabetic patients, on the occasion of the approaching month of Ramadan, and we always advise our beloved patients to consult their physician before the month of Ramadan to have enough time to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan.
Our patients should know that his or her physician, will assess the situation and give advice and health awareness, regarding the health condition, where the patient needs to fast the month of Ramadan safely.
But given the circumstances the whole world is going through (Pandemic COVID – 19); we advise patients not to visit the specialist doctor for their safety.

Diabetic patients are not more susceptible to be infected with the Coronavirus, but when infected, the severity of symptoms has more complications than other patients, so I advise them in particular to stay home and leave only if necessary and urgent.

But the problem remains, how do I go to my doctor to manage my condition to fast in Ramadan? But at the same time, doctors recommend not going out, so I will give you some tips to aid you to fast Ramadan

How do you monitor and manage your diabetic condition in Ramadan?

The importance of fasting cannot be denied, because fasting is a main pillar of Islam, but at the same time we must know that Allah has given a license to the patient who can be exposed to extreme health dangers upon fasting and that is from Allah’s mercy to man, so I advise you not to risk fasting.
Fasting and maintaining the blood sugar level

The average normal person’s blood sugar level is controlled by the pancreas that responds to the blood sugar level when the level rises the pancreas secretes insulin to decrease the level, and when fasting the liver and muscles that store glycogen to provide the body with glucose you need while you are fasting and other hormones present in the body to maintain the blood sugar level not to decrease while fasting and when we intake food to maintain blood sugar not to increase.

One the other hand a diabetic patient with a weak pancreas, that doesn’t produce enough insulin, so patient depends on two ways of medication for treatment. Either tablets that activate the pancreas to secrete insulin or insulin injected directly.
In both cases, the level of insulin depends on the dose that the patient takes and not how the pancreas responses. If the dose of insulin is too much and you are fasting, you might faint, and if the dose of insulin is less than you need because you want to fast and decrease your medication so you don’t suffer from hypoglycemia  but the blood sugar level will be very high

Another common question if you are fasting, how can the blood sugar level be higher?

Throughout fasting until the organs of your body carry out their functions, they need energy.
They convert the glycogen to glucose, but it is possible and you are fasting. The quantity is. Either way, this is not required, as it could endanger your life.
The first type diabetes in particular, which depends on insulin, if the insulin is stopped, the person may be subjected to ketosis coma, and that might need intensive care, so please do not adjust the measures of treatment without referring to your doctor.

Why does a diabetic patient need to go to his diabetologist doctor a month before Ramadan?

The diabetologist must determine several things,
First, whether the patient can fast or not?

There are no enough studies to answer all the questions associated with diabetes, but most specialists have agreed that there are some people who are in danger during fasting, first type of diabetes patient that depend on insulin because it will be difficult to control the rate of blood sugar level throughout the day except in special cases but the vast majority is with the type of diabetes that have fluctuations and uncontrolled levels
Breaking the fast is recommended as  agreed, by professors specialized in diabetes and Dar Al Iftaa through multiple sessions.
Actually, this agreement was written and printed in a book.

Cases that you should NOT fast:

  • The type that has fluctuates in sugar blood level
  • Diabetic patients who suffered before Ramadan, with a strong fluctuations of sugar blood levels, that was subjected to coma due to increase or decrease the sugar blood level without a clear reason.
  • Diabetic patients who have complications such as the person with a heart condition with stents, or was subjected to an open-heart surgery, or even atherosclerosis
  • Pregnant diabetic patients

Cases that CAN fast:

Patients who generally take insulin, on condition to follow instructed rules

Patients who intake tablets and have fluctuations can be adjusted before fasting

Patients who control their sugar blood level only through diet or who intake tablets that do not cause hypoglycemia

I always advise you to contact your physician to follow the best nutrition and medication plan that suits your condition

If you are going to fast in Ramadan, you should know these important points:

  • Ensure that your blood sugar level is monitored and controlled before Ramadan
  • Your doctor must give you a health awareness of your condition, such as how to do a self-monitor your sugar blood level at home, when you feel the symptoms of diabetes, what are the symptoms of hypoglycemia and what to do if that happens while fasting
  • The quality of food that a patient must eat in Ramadan should be balanced and healthy diet and quantities determined by your doctor suggested as

Iftar, Suhour and a snack in between, preferably 3 meals according to your weight.

  • Do not exercise while you are fasting because your sugar may decrease

Generally, health awareness to a person with a diabetic condition is essential to monitor the sugar blood level. The greater the patients’ awareness of their condition, the more they are able to protect themselves from complications.

Is there a difference between glucose level in the urine and blood sugar level?

It is assumed in the natural person that the kidneys filter most of the substances present in the body and absorb the beneficial substances of the body, including glucose, and what exceeds the need of the body or harmful to the body is excreted from the urine, when the blood sugar level reaches 180 and descends in the urine meaning that you filter the kidneys and absorb it, so this is the ability The kidneys are absorbed, exceeding 180 in the majority of people, the kidneys absorb a very large portion, and the excess part of the body descends in the urine, so in this case you will test the glucose level in the urine that will be present and if you test the sugar blood level it will be high.

There may be sugar in the urine and no sugar in the blood. This is due to a genetic defect in the kidneys. This does not mean that the sugar blood level is high, but it is cases that do not have complications. It is not possible to rely on sugar. Urine is an indication of blood sugar.

Is the child’s growth development affected if the child has a diabetic condition?

If the child intakes the correct doses and controlled amounts, he will grow as a natural child, physically and mentally. Many diabetic children of the first type of diabetes are world champions in various sports, innovators and scientists. There is no relationship between diabetes and growth if controlled.

How do I protect myself from kidney failure?

The World Health Organization stated that patients who need dialysis every year are due to diabetes. Diabetic patients represent 50% of the causes of kidney failure, but most of these patients have diabetes have high blood pressure. Do not forget that more than half of the patients have type 2 diabetes and the high blood pressure which is the cause of many diseases.

You can avoid kidney failure by avoiding by avoiding all complications of diabetes such as:

  • Cholesterol
  • Hypertension – High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Sugar blood level
  • Obesity

But for the kidneys the most important thing is to control the level of sugar and your blood pressure because they are the most affecting diseases on the kidneys.