The holy month of Ramadan is a time when many members of the local Muslim community will be fasting during daylight hours.
Ramadan can be a challenge for Muslims living with diabetes for whom the medical implications of undertaking a prolonged fast can be serious if not managed well. This year, as the coronavirus reaches its peak, the health challenge facing us all is extremely serious.
People living with diabetes and thinking of fasting are advised to consult their GP, diabetes nurse or pharmacist - many are offering phone consultations. They will outline the potential risks associated with fasting and may also be able to provide some useful tips on how to manage the condition during Ramadan.
People with diabetes are not obliged to fast and mosques are likely to be offering guidance on alternatives this year.
Jill Steaton, South East Regional Head at Diabetes UK, said:
“We recognise and respect that this is a very important time for Muslims around the world. This holy month, in particular, will be very different due to the Coronavirus outbreak and it is more important than ever that people with diabetes take care of their health.
“Those who do choose to fast need to take particular care as fasting for this length of time will increase the risk of their blood glucose levels rising or falling - which can be harmful to their health - and of them becoming dehydrated. If you are showing any symptom of Covid-19 the official advice is do not fast.”
Arif Syed, Chairman of the Crawley Mosque, said:
“When it comes to fasting in the month of Ramadan, those whose health might be made worse by fasting, for example, people with diabetes or those struggling with Covid-19 are given the alternative of charitable giving and can consult their local Mosque for more information.”
Hannah Syed, Diabetes Lead Pharmacist at East Sussex Healthcare Trust said:
"This Ramadan it is important that we fast and pray at home to minimise the spread of Coronavirus. If you take regular medication, please speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about managing your medicines during Ramadan. Remember we are here for you, and can often provide advice over the phone.
Diabetes UK has a helpline for people who have any questions regarding diabetes, including fasting during Ramadan, on 0345 123 2399. You can also find out more about Ramadan on our website.