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How diabetes can be a fasting person's safe friend
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 04 - 2021

RIYADH — Dr. Abdullah Al-Dhiabi, an internist and gastroenterologist at King Abdulaziz Medical City, warned diabetics to avoid excessive consumption of fried foods and sugars in processed juices during the holy month of Ramadan, so as not to face challenges related to dealing with the disease that may affect their fasting and acts of worship.
In an interview he gave to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Abdullah Al-Dhiabi stressed the importance of walking for diabetics during the holy month of Ramadan.
However, they should avoid exercising during daylight hours, especially intense and strenuous physical exercises so as to prevent complications such as low blood sugar levels or dehydration.
He indicated that the best times for walking are during the night, about 2 - 3 hours after taking the last meal, and for a period ranging between 30-45 minutes daily.
Al-Dhiabi said: "Most diabetics are able to fast safely, especially with the implementation of instructions related to treating the disease during Ramadan, but in some cases the doctor may advise the diabetic not to fast.
"This, especially in cases of irregular blood sugar, recurrent hypoglycemia, asymptomatic hypoglycemia, or affliction with complications due to diabetes, such as effects on eyesight, heart or kidneys, and the occurrence of diabetic ketoacidosis in Type 1 diabetes patients, or severe hyperglycemia in Type 2 diabetes patients during the three months preceding Ramadan."
He added that the most common complications for patients with diabetes during Ramadan are low or high blood sugar levels, and these complications might lead, God forbid, to death.
The causes for their occurrence are many, for example, not taking medications for diabetes or insulin, and taking inappropriate doses of diabetes medications or insulin, not taking the predawn meal (Suhoor), change in meal times, change in physical efforts exerted by the fasting person.
Dr. Al-Dhiabi advised diabetics to visit the doctor to follow the recommendations related to Ramadan, as they differ from one patient to another.
They include adjusting insulin doses, or reducing the doses of some types of diabetes medications, monitoring blood sugar levels, especially during daylight hours, making sure to delay the last meal (Suhoor) and stop fasting in case of low levels of blood sugar by consuming sugary drinks such as orange or apple juice, or eating candy bars and seeing a doctor if the blood sugar level exceeds 300.

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