Health experts do not recommend fasting to diabetics falling in the third category of the disease who take insulin for controlling blood sugar. According to them, these patients may suffer complications due to a little carelessness while fasting in Ramazan.
It is generally observed that most diabetics develop complications during Ramazan because of wrong selection of diet at the time of ‘Iftar’ and ‘Sehr’. Also it is a wrong assumption among public that every diabetic can benefit from fasting, said medical specialist and consultant diabetologist at Benazir Bhutto Hospital Dr Muhammad Mujeeb Khan while talking to ‘The News’ on Monday.
He added that diabetics should not fast for a month in Ramazan without consulting their physician. “Before going for fasting, diabetics should take proper advice from a qualified physician regarding schedule of medicines and selection of food to be taken during Ramazan.”
He said that life threatening complications may appear in severe diabetic patients who opt for fasting without having a proper diet plan. “Patient with higher level of sugar in their blood should not fast without informing his or her family doctor,” said Dr. Mujeeb.
At times, a physician wants a change in schedule of medicines of a patient to avoid complications during fasting in Ramazan and it can be possible only when the patient informs the physician well in time of his intentions of going for fasting, said Dr. Mujeeb.
He explained that diabetics can be divided into three categories on the basis of ways and means they are advised to follow for controlling blood sugar. Patients who control sugar level by adopting life interventions like exercise and walk do not have any complications while fasting; however they should follow doctor’s advice regarding diet.
He added that diabetics who use oral hypoglycaemic medicines (tablets) to control sugar level in their blood can fast only if they have no complications of the disease. Such patients must consult their physicians before going for fasting enabling doctors to change schedule of medicines.
Dr. Mujeeb said that the patients who take insulin for controlling blood sugar fall in the third category and such patients being more diabetic may develop complications due to a little carelessness and medically fasting in them is not recommended.
Talking of the diet plan for diabetics during Ramazan, he suggested that diabetics should avoid ‘Sharbats’ and sweet substances like ‘Jalebis’ at the time of ‘Iftar’, as the sweet substances may cause hyperglycaemic peaks (sudden shooting up of sugar level) which is dangerous for patients. He adds that a diabetic may take a little quantity of sweet substances but greater quantity of these certainly causes severe complications.
He said that at the time of ‘Sehar’, a diabetic should take plain leaf of bread (chapati not paratha) preferably with yogurt, milk, vegetable curry, pulses or egg however he should avoid jams and marmalade. Dr. Mujeeb said that a diabetic going for fasting may add food with high protein including fish, meat, chicken, pulses and eggs to his diet plan but after taking advice from a physician.
He said a fasting diabetic should take plenty of fluids at the time of ‘Sehar’ and ‘Iftar’ and should give much attention to regular check-ups. Terming the diabetic cases unique in nature, Dr. Mujeeb said that every diabetic must consult his or her physician before going for fasting.