The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has updated their advice on how to control diabetes throughout the annual fasting period Ramadan.
Ramadan is observed by more than one billion Muslims every year worldwide to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief.
These new guidelines were developed and written by the Diabetes and Ramadan (DAR) International Alliance with contributors from around the world, and has been approved by senior Muslim official Professor Sawky Ibrahim Allam.
Speaking to Medscape Medical News, Dr Mohamed Hassanei, chair of the DAR alliance and senior endocrinologist at Dubai Hospital, said: “One of the beautiful things is it’s the first to include a religious opinion.”
Ramada, which this year starts in early June, sees practicing Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
People with diabetes are exempt because fasting can lead to serious complications such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, dehydration, and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
The guidelines state: “The decision about whether to fast should be made on an individual basis in consultation with the patient’s treating physician, taking into account the severity of illness and the level of risk involved.”
The document provides three risk assessment categories that are colour coded, allowing people to determine the best approach to take during the religious month in relation to the state of their condition.
It also provides a mobile and web-based nutrition plan and a medication adjustment plan which can be used during the holy month.

The NHS recommends that people who control their diabetes using diet or tablets may fast with healthcare guidance, but advises not to participate when insulin is used to control the person’s diabetes.
Diabetes and Ramadan Practical Guidelines is available for free on the IDF website.

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