If you have diabetes and intend to fast during Ramadan, you should be prepared for the following in order to undertake the fast as safely as possible:
(a) Pre-Ramadan medical review1
Assessment of the following through doctor consultation should be performed 1–2 months before Ramadan:
- Overall well-being;
- Glycaemic control;
- Blood pressure control;
- Lipid control; and
- Diabetes-related complications.
Following these assessments, you will be advised on the necessary changes in diet and medication plan, so that you can initiate fasting while being on an antidiabetic regimen.
(b) Patient education1
You and your family members/caregivers should attend diabetes educational programmes several weeks before Ramadan. It is important that everyone understands and receives the necessary diabetes care education which includes:
- The risks of fasting (ie, may lead to dehydration, hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia);
- Signs and symptoms of:
- Dehydration (eg, dry mouth, thirst, decreased urine input);
- Hypoglycaemia (eg, shakiness, anxiety, sweating, fast heartbeat, dizziness, hunger); and
- Hyperglycaemia (eg, blurry vision, frequent urination, high blood glucose, increased fatigue).
- Blood glucose monitoring;
- Meal planning and food choices;
- Physical activity;
- Medication administration; and
- Management of acute complications (eg, administration of glucose-containing drinks to manage hypoglycaemia).