I wasn’t always sure whether it was safe for me to fast. The first Ramadan after my diabetes diagnosis was tricky.
Mohammed shares his experience of looking after his diabetes during the holy month.
Mohammed, from Carlisle, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2017. After feeling tired and fatigued - something Mohammed had put down to a busy work life - he saw his GP and went for blood tests which revealed very high blood sugar levels and a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes was confirmed.
Mohammed managed to get his condition under control within months, with lifestyle changes including more frequent exercise.
A Muslim who observes Ramadan, Mohammed says he hasn’t always known how to manage his condition during the holy month. He’s an Equality and Diversity Manager with the Cumbria Fire service and says that support from his healthcare team and his employers has made a huge difference to his understanding of diabetes over time and how daily life can affect it.
“I wasn’t always sure whether it was safe for me to fast. The first Ramadan after my diabetes diagnosis was tricky. I didn’t fully understand my condition and how best to manage it, so I found it more difficult to know how to manage fasting with diabetes.
How I manage fasting
“I used to travel a lot for work, so I have to be mindful of how that can affect my diabetes and particularly while fasting. Now, I know how I can manage my fasts. I don’t fast when I know I’ll be travelling long distances and I manage my travel to facilitate my fasts. On the days I do fast, I check my blood glucose levels regularly and break my fast if they have dropped too low.”
“Thankfully I got support and advice from my diabetes nurse and that helped me to stay safe during Ramadan. They advised me on how to adjust my medication when I was fasting and what are the best foods to eat when breaking my fast at Iftar and before I start my fast at Suhoor too.”
“I’ve also had really supportive employers and am able to work flexibly which really helps me to plan my days and manage fasting alongside my diabetes.”
He adds: “Experience and the right support have made it safer and easier for me to fast during Ramadan. I always have the intention to fast during the holy month but I also know that I need to listen to my body and what it needs.”
To find out more about preparing and participating in Ramadan if you’re living with diabetes, head to our Diabetes and Ramadan page.