Reader Opinion: What to do during Ramadan if you are living with diabetes

By Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK

People in the Muslim community who live with diabetes are being offered help and advice from Diabetes UK to stay healthy during Ramadan.

This year Ramadan will start on or around April 2 and run for 29 or 30 days, with the exact dates will be confirmed nearer the time, and Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr in May.

The Qur’an requires Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan from sunrise to sunset, however there are exceptions. People who are unwell or have medical conditions are not expected to fast – and this can include people with diabetes.

Ahead of the holy month, we are encouraging anyone living with diabetes and preparing for Ramadan to speak to their diabetes team and their Imam to help them to decide how best to observe Ramadan and manage their diabetes safely.

Choosing whether to fast is a personal choice, however getting information and advice ahead of Ramadan, can help you decide whether it is right and safe for you to do so.

That is because if you have diabetes, fasting can risk aggravating complications associated with the condition, such as poor vision, heart or kidney disease and hypoglycaemia as well as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a condition that can require emergency hospital treatment.

Some people with diabetes choose to fast and we offer the following helpful advice.

  • If you are unwell or have any symptoms of Covid-19 – do not fast and call 111 for further advice
  • If you do choose to fast – before you start, include more slowly absorbed foods (low GI), such as basmati rice and dhal, in your meal along with fruit and vegetables
  • During your fast, if you already check your blood sugar levels, do this more often than usual
  • When you break the fast, have only small quantities of food, and avoid only eating sweet or fatty foods
  • It’s also important to know that taking diabetes medication, testing your blood glucose levels or getting a coronavirus vaccination will not break your fast.

For more information on diabetes and Ramadan visit:




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