A study into how Muslim people with diabetes prepare for Ramadan shows that most prefer to avoid visiting their general practitioner around Ramadan to avoid discussions on whether they will fast or not.
There are health risks associated with extended periods of fasting and Islamic law makes allowances for people who may put their health in danger through fasting to be exempt from a number of days of fasting or from needing to take part in the fast during Ramadan at all.
However, many Muslims with diabetes don’t consider their condition to be serious enough to warrant the exemption and prefer to go through with the fast where possible. The dangers which can occur as a result of fasting during the hours of daylight may include:
poorer diabetes control
increased risk of death
The study found that a number of Muslims chose to avoid visiting their GPs whilst other patients choose not to heed advice from their GP not to fast.
One of the dangers of not discussing with GPs the intention to fast is that patients are choosing to begin fasting without seeking advice on the risks or how to decrease the health risks which can occur during the fasting period.