Safe Fasting With Diabetes
Periods of fasting are considered by a number of religions, but it is important to remember that fasting with diabetes requires careful management of your condition. The reasons and the durations of fasting can differ. It is best to fast only when you are assured that the fasting will not lead to any problems with your diabetes and health.1
- You might need to adjust the amount of diabetic medication you will take during fasting, please talk to you doctor for advice2
- Maintain a balanced way of eating, including food from all the food groups, and eat fruits, vegetables and salad before the fast3
- Eat more slowly absorbed foods such as basmati rice, chapattis and dal just before you begin the fast3
- Test your blood sugar levels more often as it can drop too low, mainly when you are unwell, are treated with insulin or medications3
- Try having sugar-free drinks instead of tea, coffee, lassi or fizzy drinks before the fast since it stimulates faster water loss4
- Do not fast if you have diabetes complications like eye problems, kidney damage or heart trouble or if you are pregnant1
- Avoid eating excessive amounts, and try to avoid cakes, biscuits, and sweets when opening or closing your fast2
- Avoid using more oil in cooking and try grilling, baking or dry frying food with a non-stick pan3
- Do not hesitate to break the fast immediately if you experience symptoms of low blood sugar such as feeling shaky, sweaty and disorientated3
- Do not forget to drink lot of water when you end the fast, and also eat fibre-rich foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables with skins4
*This is for patient education purposes only. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.
- Fasting and Diabetes. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/fasting-and-diabetes.html. As accessed on: 27/4/2018.
- National Health Service. Top tips for safer fasting with diabetes in Ramadan. Available from: https://www.mhcc.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Diabetes-during-Ramadan.pdf. As accessed on: 27/4/2018.
- Diabetes UK. Fasting and diabetes. Available from: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/enjoy-food/eating-with-diabetes/fasting. As accessed on: 27/4/2018.
- National Health Service. Looking after diabetes during Ramadan: A guide for patients.