HMC advises patients with Type 1 diabetes to not fast during Ramadan
Hamad General Hospital (HGH) and Al Wakra Hospital (AWH) – members of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) – recently launched a series of lectures aimed at raising public awareness of diabetes mellitus and specifically safe fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
Dr. Ibrahim Al Tereky, Senior Consultant Endocrinology/Diabetes and Head of the National Diabetes Center at AWH, advised individuals with type 1 diabetes, especially those with cardiac and kidney conditions, as well as pregnant women with diabetes, to not fast. He explained that this category of patients is at high risk of developing severe complications if they fast.
He said type 2 diabetics can fast while taking some special precautions, such as consulting their physicians before the start of Ramadan to learn how to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and to review their medication regimen, including doses and their medication schedule. “It is recommended for any type 2 diabetic who wishes to fast to delay Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) until the last possible time and to consume plenty of water between Iftar (breaking fast at sunset) and Suhoor to avoid dehydration,” he suggested.
Al Tereky also stressed the importance of monitoring blood glucose levels regularly during the fast by making several blood checks a day, especially in the first days of Ramadan. He advised patients to avoid sleeping during the last hours before Iftar. Al Tereky warned patients against doing physical exercises during fasting hours and suggested delaying exercises until night time in order to avoid hypoglycemia (lowering of blood glucose levels).