by Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, LD
With Ramadan starting on May 5, it’s important that diabetes educators understand how to support individuals with diabetes who choose to fast.
Ramadan is a month where Muslims fast each day from dawn to sunset, abstaining from food, drink and oral medications. The main meals consumed are at pre-dawn, called suhur, and at sunset, called iftar. It is a time marked by increased worship, nightly prayers called Taraweeh, readings from the Holy Book the Quran, charity, and family and community gatherings.
Many people with diabetes choose to fast during Ramadan. Although some people with diabetes may be able to fast safely, many may be at risk. Health risks can include hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, dehydration and diabetic ketoacidosis.
It is important that the diabetes care team work closely with individuals to support their personal decision to fast safely. Providing culturally sensitive, client-centered care is key. For more information on how to support those with diabetes during Ramadan, access AADE’s new educator and patient handouts.