This information will help you reduce the risks of becoming ill during Ramadan if you decide to fast, as well as highlighting the dangers of fasting for people with diabetes.
If you decide to fast
If, after consulting with your doctor, you decide to fast:
- If you are taking insulin, you will require less insulin before the start of the fast
- The type of insulin may also need changing from your usual type
- Pre-mixed insulin is not recommended during fasting
- Before starting the fast, you should include more slowly absorbed food (low GI), such as rice, pitta bread and dhal, in your meal, along with fruit and vegetables
- Check your blood glucose levels more often than you normally would
- When you break the fast, have only small quantities food, and avoid only eating sweet or fatty foods
- Try to eat just before sunrise, when you commence the next day's fast
- At the end of fasting you should drink plenty of sugar-free and decaffeinated fluids to avoid being dehydrated.
Fasting during Ramadan factsheet
Download our factsheet about fasting and managing your diabetes during Ramadan, developed in partnership with the Muslim Council of Britain’s Diabetes Advisory Group:
Managing diabetes during Ramadan presentation
A 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal* found that the change in eating patterns during Ramadan increased the risk of severe hyperglycaemia significantly.
We have developed this screencast which gives advice on fasting safely during Ramadan, and refers to passages from the holy text of the Qur'an which support a healthy lifestyle.
The screencast and advice is also available in three additional languages:
Meet Sahra, Yasir and Abdul
Take a look at our three video case studies and find out how other people manage their diabetes during Ramadan.
For further advice, you can call the Diabetes UK Careline on 0345 123 2399. If you wish to speak in another language, this can easily be arranged.
For more information from the Muslim Council of Britain, go to www.mcb.org.uk.
Watch a panel discussion organised by Diabetes UK in partnership with Optimal Clinical, bringing together the medical and religious perspectives on Ramadan and diabetes, debunking some myths in the process.
If you are an Imam and would like more information on advising people with diabetes during Ramadan, download our short guidance document (PDF, 31KB).
* Hui et al, Management of people with Diabetes wanting to fast during Ramadan, 2010, BMJ