Diabetics should fast only after doctor’s advice

ABU DHABI — Diabetes patients have been advised to check with their physicians whether it is safe for them to fast and also if any changes need to be made regarding the timing of taking medication and dosages, said Dr K.V. Thariani, physician at Rahat Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi.

By Anwar Ahmad

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Published: Sun 30 Sep 2007, 9:05 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:14 AM

All overweight diabetics, except pregnant or nursing mothers whose diabetes is stable with weight levels 20 per cent above the ideal weight, are encouraged to fast.

“However, diabetes patients who fast should avoid too much intake of oily or greasy food to break the fast. They should break the fast with simple carbohydrates like a couple of dates or 120ml of unsweetened juice, followed by medicines immediately. They should drink or eat low-fat yoghurt products and avoid all sweets and sugary food except dates (only 2 to 4),” Thariani suggested.

At Iftar time, diabetes patients are suggested to take one cup of soup without chicken or meat, two meat or chicken simbusak, one cup of low-fat yogurt and one piece of fresh fruit, he stated.

“At Suhour time, they should take 90 grams of meat, chicken or fish boiled or grilled, two cups of rice, macaroni, gereeshi, thareed, Mofallaq, or Haris cooked without fat or oils, salad without fat, one cup of cooked vegetables without fat, half a cup of low-fat yoghurt and one piece of fresh fruit as well. This diet can vary from person to person,” Thariani added.

There are several categories of diabetic patients. In some cases, they are allowed to fast without any danger and in some case they are cautioned to not take risk as it may be harmful.

“It is important for an individual to follow a balanced diet so that indigestion problem is avoided and metabolic parameters are maintained. Sometimes, the fasting may lead to fatigue tiredness, lethargy and dizziness. So to avoid these symptoms one should stick to a balanced diet. Adequate intake of liquids and sleep is equally important,” the doctor suggested.

However, the doctor does not recommend fasting by those who are suffering from Type 1 (Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) and those who are poorly-controlled Type 1 or Type 2 (non-Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) as it may lead to problems. Pregnant diabetes patients and elderly patients with any degree of alertness problems should avoid fasting.

“If diabetics are fasting, they should be able take pulse temperature, look for skin infection and notice changes in the sensorium (mental alertness). They should be on the alert for any colic pain, signs of renal colic or hyperventilation, and signs of dehydration,” Thariani advised.

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