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Mistakes That Diabetics Make When Fasting

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Pic: Straits TimesPic: Straits OccasionsDiabetic patients may think that fasting during Ramadan will assist to improve their blood sugar management since they are consuming much less.

Nevertheless, there are risks associated with fasting for diabetics.

Dr Ester Yeoh, a advisor at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Diabetes Centre, stated the dangers of fasting during Ramadan embrace low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia), high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia), dehydration and emergencies like diabetic ketoacidosis.

Throughout fasting, some varieties of anti-diabetic treatment can improve the danger of hypoglycaemia within the aged and in sufferers with kidney impairment or failure, she stated.

Patients can take precautions by monitoring their glucose ranges and adjusting their drugs.

Underneath Islamic regulation, individuals with diabetes would not have to fast during Ramadan. Those that need to fast should heed their doctor’s advice to stop any problems, stated Ms Melissa Ho, senior dietitian at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Listed here are some mistakes diabetics might make when fasting:


Pricking the pores and skin to check for blood sugar levels does not invalidate the Ramadan quick, stated Ms Ho.

Verify your blood sugar ranges repeatedly to watch how the change in consuming habits impacts blood sugar levels during fasting.


Do not delay the remedy of low blood sugar levels to avoid breaking fast, stated Ms Ho.

“Delaying remedy can lead to fainting, diabetic coma and brain injury,” she stated. “If low-sugar occasions aren’t promptly treated, sufferers will regularly not have the ability to feel the warning signs.”

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She stated patients ought to verify their sugar ranges often, particularly in the event that they discover signs of low sugar ranges or hypoglycaemia, akin to breaking out in cold sweat, weak spot, fatigue, trembling, dizziness, confusion and headache.

If their blood sugar degree is under 4mmol/L, they need to break the fast and take 15g of sugar. This may be three non-sugar-free sweets, half a glass of juice or gentle drink, or three teaspoons of sugar dissolved in water.

Anticipate 15 minutes and examine the blood sugar degree again. If it is above 4mmol/L, take a snack containing carbohydrates or have a meal earlier.

If the reading is under 4mmol/L, take another 15g of sugar and repeat until the blood sugar degree is again to normal (above 4mmol/L).


Diabetes drugs ought to be adjusted by the doctor before the fasting interval to stop poorly managed blood sugars, stated Ms Ho. Don’t start fasting and anticipate problems to arise before finding out if the drugs must be adjusted.


Maintaining a wholesome and balanced weight-reduction plan is necessary during Ramadan. Avoid taking giant, carbohydrate- heavy meals and sugary drinks after breaking quick as this will improve the danger of problems in individuals with diabetes, stated Dr Yeoh.

Eat foods with low glycaemic index and excessive fibre as these launch power slowly, and eat much less of meals which might be high in saturated fat. Concentrate on the danger of hyperglycaemia and avoid over- indulging in food and candy drinks.

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After the pageant, diabetics ought to revert to their typical anti- diabetic therapies and proceed to verify blood glucose levels, stated Dr Yeoh.

-Straits Occasions

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