Do's and Don'ts for Diabetics Fasting during Ramadan


Fasting the month of Ramadan is mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims; those who are sick are exempted. According to 2015 statistics, about 90–145 million Muslims suffer from diabetes; yet, most of them insist on fasting during Ramadan. The question is: is it safe? If the answer is yes, then what are the rules they should follow so it does not affect their health negatively?

Is fasting safe for diabetics?

There is no absolute answer to this question because patients differ in several ways. Fasting for diabetics is sometimes safe, but only the physician can determine if it is or not. If the patient decides to fast during the holy month, they must see the doctor and ask for advice. The doctor will not often recommend fasting if these cases are applicable:

  • Difficulty in controlling blood sugar (glucose) levels during the past months.
  • The cumulative sugar test is higher than 9%.
  • A frequent low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) is a risk indicator that can lead to a hypoglycemic coma.
  • People with kidney disease or problems with blood vessels.
  • During pregnancy and lactation.
  • Children with diabetes.

Fasting is safe for diabetics if their medical history indicates controlled blood glucose, and not being at risk of coma—ketoacidosis coma (high blood sugar) or hyperglycemic coma—during the previous months.

Diabetics must be in good health too and not have other diseases that make blood sugar levels uncontrollable during fasting.

Precautions during Fasting for Diabetics

If fasting for a diabetic is permitted by the physician, there are some required instructions:

  • Monitoring blood sugar levels during the fasting period.
  • Reducing insulin or diabetes medicines dose.
  • Defining hypoglycemia indicators, and knowing how to deal with them.
  • Consuming healthy foods throughout the time eating is allowed; eating fibers, vegetables, and low-glycemic index foods. Quitting the consumption of sugar-sweetened juices because they lead to a sudden rise in blood sugar then it drops soon after, which causes fluctuating glucose levels.

In conclusion, diabetics can fast if permitted by the attending physician, but they must adhere to the stated instructions to enjoy safe fasting.


*Banner image source.

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