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Help at hand for people with diabetes who are fasting in Ramadan

Posted on the 9th June 2016

Health professionals from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are calling on people with diabetes who will be fasting this Ramadan to access support on how to fast safely.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar and is a period of prayer, fasting, charitable giving and self-accountability. With Ramadan in the UK this year falling in the summer months when the daily fasting period is very long (17 hours or more), the Trust is encouraging people with diabetes who will be fasting to do so in a way that does not compromise their health.

Mumtaz Shaikh, a Diabetes Link Worker with the Trust, said: “Ramadan is a very spiritual time and many Muslims are eager to fast. However, since the length of fasts in the UK at present are very long, people with diabetes are at more of a risk of hypoglycaemia and dehydration. It is crucial they consult health professionals to ensure they’re able to properly look after themselves during the month. We’re at hand to provide all sorts of relevant guidance, including healthy eating food messages.

“When we don’t eat during a fast, our bodies use energy stores to keep our blood glucose or sugar levels normal. For most people, this isn’t harmful but if you’ve got diabetes then the risks of low blood glucose levels increases. On the flip side, high blood glucose levels can also occur if you eat excessively during the two meal times before dusk and after sunset. It is therefore important that people with diabetes hoping to fast consult health professionals.”

People with diabetes intending to fast can contact the Diabetes Team or their GPs for safer fasting advice. For further details telephone 01772 777621 or 01254 283886.