Ramadan Fasting and Diabetes Mellitus Dr. Tofail Ahmed, Associate Prof. of Endocrinology, BIRDEM
Fasting during daytime in the month of Ramadan is an obligatory duty of all healthy adult Muslims. Fasting during daytime in the month of Ramadan is an obligatory duty of all healthy adult Muslims.
Ramadan is a lunar-based month, and its duration varies between 29 to 30 days. It’s timing changes with respect to season. Depending on the geographical location and season, duration of daily fast may range from a few to more than 20 hours.
Some 40 – 50 million people with diabetes worldwide fast during Ramadan.
During fasting a Muslim must abstain from During fasting a Muslim must abstain from eating, drinking, use of oral medications and smoking from predawn (Suhur/ shehre) to after sunset (Ifter) and however there is no restrictions on food or fluid from Ifter to shehre however there is no restrictions on food or fluid from Ifter to shehre.
The Koran specifically exempts the sick from the duty of fasting (Holy Koran, Al- Bakara, 183 –185), especially if fasting may lead to harmful consequences for the individual.
Diabetic patients are at risk of harmful consequences due to the changes in pattern and amount of food and fluid intake during Ramadan. The harmful consequences associated with fasting are 1. Hypoglycemia, 2. Hyperglycemia, 3. Ketoacidosis, 4. Dehydration and thrombosis …. but..
Severity of the risk in an individual i.e. categorization depends on many factors such as status of diabetic control, treatment regimen, co-existing disease etc. ADA workgroup has categories risk in patients with diabetes who fast during Ramadan into Very high risk, High risk, Moderate risk and Low risk group.
Management guidelines are available to perform fasting by the diabetics with low and moderate risk groups. But cases with very high- risk categories need to enjoy exemption of duty of fasting. Because this exemption represents more than a simple permission not to fast; the Prophet Mohammad said, “ Allah likes his permission to be full led, as he like his will to be executed.”
Management of diabetes during fasting should consist of Pre-Ramadan medical assessment and educational counseling. Cases eligible for fasting needs appropriate modification in diet and drugs and perform monitoring on regular basis.
CONTINUOUS LOW LEVEL SECRETION BETWEEN MEALS & THROUGH NIGHT ( Called BASAL secretion. Rate is approximately 1 iu per hour, so in total 24 iu of insulin is secreted as basal ) STIMULATED INSULIN SECRETION FOLLOWING MEALS ( PRANDIAL secretion and rate & total amount secretion is influenced by amount and composition of meals. )
Glucose Glucose of gut Insulin 3 2 4 1 Glucose Homeostasis after food intake Pancreas Fats Muscle Liver Kidney
Glucose Homeostasis during fasting state Glucose Insulin 4 5 2 1 Glycogen from liver (kidney also) breakdown and pour into blood ‘Hepatic Glucose Output’ (HGU) (2). Blood glucose is consumed mainly by vital organs like brain cells, RBC, renal & gut epitheliums. These cells are not insulin dependent cells(5).
ADA workgroup has categories risk in patients with diabetes who fast during Ramadan as follows Very high risk group 1. Severe hypoglycemia within the last 3 months prior to Ramadan 2. Patient with history of recurrent hypoglycemia 3. Patient with hypoglycemia unawareness 4. Patient with sustained poor glycemic control 5. Ketosis within the last 3 months prior to Ramadan 6. Type 1 DM 7. Acute illness 8. Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic coma within the last 3 months. 9. Patients who performs intense physical labour. 10. Pregnancy. 11. Patient on dialysis.
ADA workgroup has categories risk in patients with diabetes who fast during Ramadan as follows High risk group 1. Patient with moderate hyperglycemia (average blood glucose between 150 and 300 mg/dl. HbA1c 7.5 – 9.0%) 2. Patients with renal insufficiency 3. Patients with advanced macrovascular complications 4. People living alone that are treated with insulin or sulfonylureas 5. Patients with co morbid conditions that presents additional risk factors. 6. Old age with ill health. 7. Drugs that may affect mentation
ADA workgroup has categories risk in patients with diabetes who fast during Ramadan as follows Moderate risk group Well controlled patients treated with short acting secretagogues such as repaglinide or nataglinide Low risk group Well-controlled patients treated with diet alone, metformin or a thiazolidinedione who are otherwise healthy
Management of diabetes during Ramadan General considerations Pre-Ramadan medical assessment and education Management of DM (drug therapy)
Management of diabetes during Ramadan General considerations Several individual issues deserve special attention 1. Individualization: Each specific patient require his/her specific management plan. They should take Seheri (morning meal ) close to insak ( subuh) time. 2. Frequent monitoring of glycemic status ( multiple times daily – esp. patients on insulin: 2 to 4 hours after sheheri and 1 hour prior to ifter).
Management of diabetes during Ramadan 1. General considerations 2. Nutrition: In terms of calori and composition diet should remain same healthy and balanced as before Ramadan. 3. Ingestion of large amount of foods rich in carbohydrate and fats during ifter should be avoided. 4. A complex carbohydrate that delays in digestion and absorption is good choice for sheri and while food with more simple carbohydrate may be taken during ifter.
Management of diabetes during Ramadan 1. General considerations 2. Exercise: Normal level of activity. Excessive physical activities may lead to hypoglycemia. Tarawaih prayer can be considered part of daily exercise programme. 3. Breaking the fasting: If blood sugar goes 16.7 mmol/L (300mg /dl). Sick days.
Management of diabetes during Ramadan Patient on diet: No change in total calorie intake. Ensure three at least meals and adequate fluid intake. Patient on metformin: Start with single dose at meal after. Patient on glitazone: No change. Patient on sulfonylurea: Use glimiperide at ifter or rapaglinide/ netiglinide. Patient on insulin: Use prmixed or combination of analogs
ADA recommended guideline During Ramadan morning dose at ifter and half the evening dose at seheri ADA recommended guideline Total daily insulin (U)Ifter doseSeheri doseTotal 2013316 2114317 2215318 2315419 2416420 2517421 2617522 2718523 2819524 2920525 3020525
Conclusion Fasting during Ramadan for patients with diabetes carries a risk of an assortment of complications. But a careful, individualized management plan with close follow-up can reduce the risk. There is need of population based epidemiology of diabetes and Ramadan.