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Diabetes specialists share Ramadan health advice

Diabetes and Ramadan

Diabetes Consultants Dr Vinod Patel and Dr Rajiv Nair visited a popular community centre in Nuneaton to share valuable advice to people about Diabetes and health ahead of this year’s Ramadan.

 Ramadan is an annual period of fasting for the Muslim Community and will start on Thursday, 18th of June 2015 and will continue for 30 days until Friday, the 17th of July.  Eating and drinking during Ramadan is forbidden within daylight hours. This abstinence can have a serious impact for people with Diabetes including low blood sugars and risk of Diabetes hypo’s if not managed.

Dr Patel and Dr Nair shared some useful valuable tips at the Edward Street Community Centre, answered questions and provided personal support to patients who use medication to help manage their diabetes conditions.

The following tips were recommended by the team of experts to help anyone observing Ramadan be safe whilst fasting. 

  • Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Avoid overeating during Ramadan or Eid as this can increase your blood sugars and make you put on weight.
  • Exercise as this can help you lose weight and feel healthier.
  • Choose Ramadan as a good time to give up smoking
  • Eat slow release energy food i.e. Porridge (without added sugars) before fasting begins.
  • At Sehri and Iftari time eat more starty foods, such as basmati rice, chapatti, brown bread and cereals.
  • Limit the amount of salt you add to food.


Specific advice for Diabetes patients

  • Limit the amount of sweet foods such as dates, milkshakes, jelabi and burfi.
  • All drinks should be sugar free, avoid adding sugar to tea and coffee.
  • To avoid dehydration make sure you drink plenty of water before starting the Fast.
  • When you break your Fast, try not to have too many fried foods such as samosas, paratha and pakoras!
  • Keep taking your regular tablets but consult your doctor as some medications may need adjusting.
  • If you are on insulin, your insulin dose will need to change so contact your GP. Do not stop taking your insulin.
  • Check your blood glucose regularly, it should be between 4-7.
  • If your blood glucose drops below 4, you could be at risk of having a hypo. You may feel weakness, sweating, trembling, tingling in the lips and fingers and slurred speech. If this happens then you must take 2-3 glucose tables followed by a snack.


Dr Patel said: “Contact your own GP or the Diabetes Team at the George Eliot if you take medication to control Diabetes. Your tablets and insulin will keep your blood glucose in control and keep you feeling well but may need adjustment during fasting.”

“I would also recommend reading food labels on packets about sugar, fat and salt content. Some foods that you may think are healthy may include considerable amounts of added sugar.” 

Dr Patel shared a few healthy food tips including the suggestion that people avoid readymade porridge products and buy Jumbo Oats and adding a chopped up banana. This will provide more energy and more fibre into the diet without the need for eating added unhealthy sugars.

The team of experts also recommended that people asked for a health passport check which identifies risk factors that may have an input into your long term health including your weight, physical activity and blood pressure and recommended cholesterol checks and diabetes prevention advice.

For further information about the issues discussed in this release please contact the Diabetes Department on 024 7686 5210 or the Multi-Lingual Co-Worker on 024 7686 5595.

A leaflet about Ramadan and Diabetes can be found here 


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