The holy month of Ramadan, which sees Muslims all over the world fast during daylight hours, begins this weekend. Does having type 2diabetes exclude a person from fasting? Not necessarily. The decision belongs to the person, but getting some advice from health professionals can help.
Type 2 diabetes, which constitutes the majority of diabetes cases, occurs when the body becomes resistant to the actions of insulin, or loses the capacity to produce sufficient insulin from the pancreas. Insulin keeps the body’s blood glucose levels within a healthy range.
Dietary practices such as fasting, feasting, and consumption of special foods are an essential component of many religious and cultural celebrations.
For Muslims, fasting during the month of Ramadan is obligatory for all healthy adults, who must refrain from eating, drinking and taking oral medications between dawn and sunset.
Low blood glucose levels can cause symptoms of sweating, shakiness and confusion. If severe, they can lead to seizures, coma, or even death. High blood glucose levels make people feel tired and generally unwell and can lead to dehydration and poor concentration. Extremely high levels are a medical emergency.
Low risk patients can safely enjoy fasting, while those at moderate to high risk are advised against fasting.