Dammam, July 31 — With the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi Diabetic and Endocrine Association (SDEA) has issued a bulletin urging all diabetic people to consult their doctors first before they begin to fast.
“It is very essential that citizens, particularly the elderly, to see their doctors and undergo complete evaluation of their blood sugar before embarking on the Ramadan observance,” said Dr. Basem Futa, chairman of the educational committee of SDEA.
He said it is a must that all diabetic individuals submit themselves for thorough consultation by their doctors to help them control their blood sugar and avoid complications.
The SDEA advisory stated that children and young patients with diabetes who depend on daily insulin injections to control their blood sugar are not advised to fast in order to avoid high or low blood sugar, which may cause coma and serious health problems to them.
Patients who are diet need to consult their doctors if they would be allowed to fast following the same calorie and meal plan which includes three meals: (evening) Iftar, Fajr (Suhoor) and midnight. The Iftar meal should be taken right after sunset (not to be delayed) to avoid low blood sugar, while Suhoor meal should be eaten as close to Fajr (predawn) as permitted.
Fasting diabetics, whether on pills or insulin, are advised to avoid exercises during daytime especially in the afternoon to avoid low blood sugar. Patients may exercise 1-2 hours walking after the Iftar meal for 30 minutes with doctors’ approval.
Pregnant diabetics are advised not to fast to avoid low blood sugar, which might be dangerous and may put them and their babies at risk.
“During Ramadan, it is advisable for diabetic people to always carry their diabetic identification cards and some sugar cubes or dates to be used in case of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),” Dr. Futa said.