Ramadan Support for those living with Diabetes.
13 Apr 2021
If you are celebrating Ramadan and living with Diabetes, here is some support for you:
We understand that fasting is an individual act of worship. It is a personal choice whether or not to fast when living with Type One Diabetes. As you know, people who are ill or have medical conditions, including diabetes, do not have to fast or can fast later in the year when the hours are shorter. If you’re not sure what to do, you and your family can speak to your Imam. You might consider fasting for part rather than all of the day this year due to the long hours.
If you do choose to fast, please contact your Diabetes team for advice individual to you. This may include talking about insulin adjustment, monitoring blood glucose levels, managing hypos and nutrition. With our support it is very possible to manage your blood sugars well in Ramadan. Doing so is following the Qur’an, which says that we must not act in a way that harms our body.
If you are unwell at any time during Ramadan it is advisable not to fast. Follow sick day rules.
Here are some Top Tips to think about:
- You all know about the Eatwell Guide – now is an important time to follow it. Be sure you have foods from each group every day to keep your body healthy.
- Sweets and fried foods – enjoy these, but don’t go mad! Having plenty of fruit, vegetables, dairy, pulses and whole grains will keep your blood fats healthy and avoid extra weight gain.
- Drinks with sugar in will spike your blood glucose levels really quickly so it’s best not to have these – stick to water and diet/sugar free drinks. Try and avoid those with caffeine in or you will never sleep!
- Eat the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor/Sehri) as close to dawn as possible to shorten the number of hours you are fasting.
- Did you know that some foods will keep your fuller for longer and your blood glucose levels more stable? For Suhoor/Sehri you are best off choosing slow release (low GI) carbs such as wholegrain bread/cereals/paratha. Try to also have a good source of protein such as eggs, lean meat or low fat cheese.
- Accurate Carb counting matters, especially for pre-dawn (Suhoor/Sehri) and sunset (Iftar) meals. See over for carb counting of some popular sweet foods (to eat in moderation! ).
- Stay hydrated by drinking water and other sugar free drinks often when you’re not fasting.
- Break your fast immediately if hypo, whenever it happens. Do this for any blood glucose levels below 3.9 mmol/l, whether or not you have symptoms.
For more information on managing diabetes during Ramadan Diabetes UK have a useful page of support: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/ramadan
The Bolton Diabetes Team have kindly provided the information above to help manage diabetes during Ramadan, and they have also put together a useful food guide which is included in this post for you to use.
Many thanks from Team DB