Tips for fasting during Ramadan for diabetics
Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is essential for a diabetic, and it normally requires eating healthy meals at regular intervals throughout the day. So how can you fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan without wreaking havoc on your system?
Here are some steps you can take to fast with your condition:
- Consult your doctor. Talk to your physician to put a plan in place before you start the actual fast, as well as your dietitian to discuss how to eat appropriately during Ramadan. Similarly, ask if any changes need to be made in your diabetic medications beforehand, to ensure your condition is managed effectively during the 30 days of Ramadan. Do not self-adjust or stop taking medications on your own.
- Have a hearty meal for Suhoor – Don’t skip this important meal. Your breakfast should contain a balance of whole grain sources of starchy carbohydrates as well as some protein and fat to help slow the digestion and help the feeling of fullness last as long as possible into the day.
- Drink 8 glasses of water or sugar-free fluids during Suhoor and Iftaarto replenish fluid loss during the day.
- Test glucose levels frequently. Having a handy glucose monitoring device to keep track of your blood sugar helps reduce the chance of out-of-control numbers. You must be able to recognise when you have high blood glucose levels, low blood glucose levels or severe dehydration.
- Listen to your body. Watch out for the warning signs that indicate you need to stop fasting. Headache, nausea and vomiting can all point to serious dehydration. Should you experience these symptoms, end your fast immediately.
Signs of low blood sugar include feelings of tremors, sweating, palpitations, hunger, dizziness, confusion. Signs of dehydration include dizziness (feeling faint) and confusion.
- Break your fast with the right foods. Keep your diet simple and ensure it contains enough carbs with low glycemic index, such as brown rice, wholegrain bread and vegetables that are better for you than white rice, white bread or potatoes.
- Avoid sleeping soon after dinner. A minimum two-hour interval should be maintained between both.