Before Ramadan starts it is important that you seek advice from either your GP or Nurse on how to manage your diabetes including changes to your medication during this time.
Useful points to remember when fasting with Diabetes:
- Islam states that anyone who would be putting their health at serious risk by fasting are exempt i.e. people with diabetes
- If you experience a hypo you will need to be prepared to break your fast. (A hypo is a blood glucose level of less than 4mmol/l)
- Blood glucose monitoring does not break your fast. So make sure you regularly test your blood glucose to keep safe.
There may be a risk of hypoglycaemia (where the blood glucose levels fall to less than 4 mmol/l) you could also experience high blood glucose levels during this time, which could lead to health problems in the short and long term.
Fasting when using insulin
If you choose to fast and use insulin, it is important to remember the following:
- You should never stop your insulin
- You will need to alter your regime
- Regularly monitor your blood glucose levels
- If you have a hypo you must break your fast
If you are on a basal bolus insulin regimen
(e.g. background insulin either once or twice a day and, quick acting insulin with meals)
- You may need to make alterations to your insulin. For example; the dose of background long acting insulin and the timing and amount of quick acting insulin in relation to meals may need to be altered.
If you use pre-mixed insulin
(e.g. Novomix 30, Humulin M3, Humalog Mix 25 or Humalog Mix 50)
- You will need to seek advice from your GP or Nurse on how to alter the doses and timings of your insulin.
- You may need to change to a different insulin regimen during Ramadan.
Fasting when taking Metformin
If you take just one dose of metformin tablets in the morning;
- You can continue with the same dose during Ramadan
- But the tablet should be taken at the time of breaking your fast in the evening with your main meal.
If you take twice daily doses;
- Continue to take these two tablets during Ramadan
- But you may need to change the time you take them and the quantity. For further advice talk to your GP or Nurse.
If you take tablets three times a day;
- You should speak to your GP or Nurse as the dose and the timings of the tablets will have to be adjusted.
Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed or you’ve had diabetes for years, we’re here to help with information about your condition and the best way to manage it to stay healthy, happy and active.