Muslims with diabetes intending to observe fasting during Ramadan (Ramazan) have been urged to take extra care while managing their blood sugar levels to prevent any serious problems arising.
Physicians attending a public awareness seminar on ‘Diabetes and Ramazan’ in Islamabad, Pakista, warned that frequent disturbance in diabetes control can lead to permanent complications.
The consultants from Shifa International Hospital (SIH), which hosted the event, said it is difficult to maintain diet and blood glucose control while fasting, with patients often facing serious issues such as extreme fluctuations in blood glucose and low body water levels.
Consultant nutritionist Dr. Rezzan Khan explained how fasting slows down metabolism, causing the body to start consuming calories, and also lowers blood glucose and systolic blood pressure .
She spoke of the importance of preventing dehydration and avoiding hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) during the fast and hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) from increased food intake at night. She also distributed a complete Ramazan diet plan to those in the audience.
Most of the attention was on consultant endocrinologist Dr Usama Ishtiaq, who advised patients with pre-diabetes and pregnant women with intense diabetic issues not to observe fasting .
He explained that Islam exempts those with critical health conditions from fasting. This was repeated by Azmatullah Qureshi, senior manager of religious affairs at SIH, who said Muslims can be excused from fasting during Ramada, but only in serious health cases.