From the desk of Dr Saf Naqvi, Deputy Medical Director, Consultant Diabetologist and Endocrinologist at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC).
Keep In Touch With Your Physician
· It is possible to manage diabetes and fast, but please do make sure you keep in touch with your doctor if you are not feeling so good while you are fasting, especially if you are prescribed medication.
· Your doctor will guide you how to adjust your doses and help adjust your fasting plan in complement with Ramadan fasting hours.
Space Out Your Meals
· Do remember that it is a good idea to pace your mealtimes during the non-fasting hours.
· Try not to be tempted to eat continuously from Iftar to just before Fajr.
· At Iftar, remember to break your fast with a light snack such as dates and soup.
· Then, have a full meal about an hour later, followed by Suhoor, just before Fajr.
· And, don’t skip any meals
Consume Good Carbohydrates; Consider Your Options
· Slow release carbohydrates, known as low-glycaemic, are an excellent option for fasting food. These include wholegrain bread and basmati rice.
· Fast release carbs, sugary food and food otherwise known as high-glycaemic index are best avoided. High glycaemic starchy food include potatoes and white bread.
· It is important that you do not get dehydrated.
· Adequate amount of fluids is recommended, especially that this is a particularly hot time of year.
· Don’t be tempted to reach for a drink with high sugar as a sudden surge of sugar in your system can result in a state of high blood glucose levels that may require hospital treatment.
Moderate Activity Is Good
· Moderate physical activity every day is a healthy option.
· Walking is one of the best recommended activities for moderate exercise.
· However excessive exercise is best avoided for people who are fasting.
Four Top Tips For Ramadan Exercise
1. It is good to take some moderate exercise just before you break your fast at Iftar, and again just before going to bed, as well as right before Suhoor
2. As you know, it is quite warm during Ramadan this year, so outdoor exercise might not always be the best option so try climbing the stairs. Start slowly and gradually with two flights at a time and refrain from pushing yourself too hard during the first few days.
3. Of course, after the sun sets and just before dawn breaks a short but brisk walk for at least 10 minutes is a good practise to adopt during Ramadan.
4. If you decide to pop out to a Mall in the evening, park farther away from the entrance, walk the extra distance, and also enjoy a brisk walk around the mall walkways before your embark on your seasonal shopping!