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Updated: July 4, 2012 12:22 IST

‘Diabetics can fast during Ramzan’

J. S. Ifthekhar
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Abid Moiz. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
The Hindu Abid Moiz. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Depending on the geographical location and season, the duration of the daily fast also changes from 12 to 18 hours.

With Ramzan round the corner, Muslims the world over are gearing up for month long fasting. But a good number, who are not in the pink of health, are caught on the horns of dilemma -- to fast or not. Particularly persons afflicted with diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments, kidney stones and asthma find themselves in a catch-22 situation.

But they need not despair. A majority of them can fast safely provided they take certain precautions and change their dietary and drug regimen in consultation with the doctor.

A Hyderabadi doctor, Abid Moiz, who has specialised in health and nutrition, has come out with a book ‘Ramzan Aur Hamari Sehat” (Ramzan and Our Health) to address the issue. The timely publication is of immense help to persons suffering with various ailments. They can follow the do’s and don’ts and fulfil the religious obligation without much fuss.

Ramzan is a lunar based month and its duration varies from 29 to 30 days.

Depending on the geographical location and season, the duration of the daily fast also changes from 12 to 18 hours.

Consult the doctor

While it is mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims to fast, the sick, travellers, pregnant and breastfeeding women are exempted. But they are required to compensate by fasting later on.

However, come Ramzan diabetic patients are in a fix. Abstaining from eating and drinking and even oral mediation for a prolonged period can place patients with chronic metabolic disorders at risk.

“Therefore, they should first consult their doctor and ask him/her to suggest necessary changes in diet and medicine,” says Dr. Moiz.

All such patients should get their glycoselated or A1 c haemoglobin tested as it gives an indication of how well controlled is their diabetes in the last few months.

If the blood glucose level is less than 7.0 per cent one can observe fast and those between 7 to 9 per cent need greater precaution. And if it is more than 9.0 per cent such patients should give a second thought on fasting.

Without confusing the reader with too many medical details and jargon, Dr. Moiz tells succinctly all about insulin secretion in healthy individuals, depletion of glycogen stores during the protracted fasting, hypoglycaemia, dehydration, diabetic ketoacidosis etc.

Similarly, Dr. Moiz suggests steps to be taken by patients with heart ailments, hypertension and kidney problems.

He gives useful tips on what to eat and avoid during Ramzan. “It is the ideal time for any overweight Muslim to start dieting and give up bad habits like smoking,” he says.

Dr. Moiz can be reached on phone 9502044291.

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