Ramadan is a period during which your rhythm of life is completely modified, marked in particular by an alternation of fasting and rich diet, a shortened sleep cycle and a disruption of hormonal and biological cycles.
All of these changes can affect the balance of your diabetes and put you at risk for problems like hypoglycemia , hyperglycemia and dehydration, or more severe complications.
What steps to take before Ramadan?
In case of chronic illness like diabetes , fasting is dispensed by the writings of the Koran.
However, if you want to fast, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it no matter what treatment you take. Consult before the month of Ramadan so that he will give you a general assessment, in order to give you advice adapted to your state of health. This step is very important because there is a risk that fasting, practiced without medical supervision, could lead to complications.
NB: If you are pregnant, fasting is strictly contraindicated because it is associated with a significant risk for the fetus and the mother.
What hygieno-dietetic precautions to adopt?
If you are allowed to fast , here are some practical tips to follow:
Structure your food intake around 3 real meals :
Before daybreak (S’hour), eat a breakfast rich in complete starchy foods (bread, pasta, rice) which will calm you down and keep you going until sunset by reducing the risk of hypoglycemia .
At the break of the fast (Iftar), plan a balanced meal with raw vegetables (carrots, tomatoes …), meat, starchy foods (whole rice), yogurt and fruit for dessert (apple, pear …). Limit fatty and sugary foods.
At night , rather than snacking, make a real balanced meal like during the Iftar.
Avoid as much as possible pastries or cookies between meals. These snacks, often very sweet, can cause your blood sugar to rise very quickly and dehydrate you. Better to consume it, in small quantity, at the end of the meals.
Drink lots of sugar-free water or tea to keep you hydrated. Avoid overly sweet sodas.
Finally, limit physical activity and sports , especially in hot weather, to reduce the risk of hypoglycemic discomfort and dehydration.
How to best follow the treatment during Ramadan?
Reinforce glycemic self-monitoring by measuring your blood sugar before each meal and at least twice during the fast. If you are hypoglycemic (<60 mg / dl) or hyperglycemic (> 300 mg / dl), stop the fast and make an appointment with your doctor.
Avoid staying alone throughout Ramadan. And train those around you to recognize the signs of dehydration and hypoglycemia so that they have the right reflexes.