Ramadan 2022: Diabetic And Fasting? Quick Guide To Manage Sugar Levels During The Holy Month

Ramadan 2022: Diabetic And Fasting? Quick Guide To Manage Sugar Levels During The Holy Month

New Delhi: In India, the holy month of Ramadan (Ramazan or Ramadhan) began with moonsighting on Saturday. During this ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims keep fast from dawn to dusk and abstain even from drinking water. The fast begins with a pre-dawn meal called Sehri (Suhoor) and ends after the sun sets down with a feast called Iftar.

Fasting for 30 days that too under these hot and strenuous conditions of summer can be daunting for the body. For people with diabetes, fasting becomes even more difficult given the nature of the fast.

Diabetes is a condition that requires regular monitoring and ensuring glucose levels are in a normal range. Now, there are monitoring devices that help people with diabetes understand their 24-hour glucose profile.

One can use continuous glucose monitoring systems that help you avoid the pain of pricking multiple times and is much faster and more accurate. There are convenient wearables that provide real-time glucose readings, thus showcasing the glucose trend during Iftar and at the time of Sehri. 

On that note, Dr Jothydev Kesavadev, Chairman and Managing Director of Jothydev’s Diabetes Research Centre said: “During Ramadan, people with diabetes need to be constantly monitored as they are fasting for more than 10-12 hours.”

For people who are diabetic and are fasting during the month of Ramadan, Dr Jothydev Kesavadev has three tips to make sure that fasting does not impact their health.

  • Meal Inclusions During Iftar And Sehri: Start Iftar with food, which is rich in simple carbohydrates and can be absorbed quickly by the body such as 1-2 dates or milk, followed by complex carbohydrates like brown rice and chapatis. During Sehri, consume whole-grain cereal, and vegetables and take them as late as possible. Alternatively, one can opt for lean proteins like fish, tofu and nuts as they provide energy. A glass of milk or fruit before bedtime will help maintain sugar levels till the early morning.
  • Exercise Routine: Aim to keep up with the exercise routine you follow but reduce the intensity of workouts while fasting. If training is too difficult, one can focus on walks or gentle exercises. Resistance training can help prevent muscle loss in a calorie deficit state during Ramadan.
  • Sleep Patterns: Sleep deprivation can impact hunger hormones, which makes it harder to resist large volumes of high-calorie foods during the eating window. Sleep is important for the metabolic process, which has been shown to facilitate blood glucose regulation which is essential for diabetes management.

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