The International Diabetes Federation has recently released comprehensive new guidelines regarding diabetes and Ramadan, including both religious and medical guidance. Ramadan is a Muslim holiday that involves an annual period of fasting, charitable giving, and prayer. Practicing Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, although exemptions are granted for people who are living with health conditions like diabetes.
This document divides diabetes patients into three categories:
- Green (Low/Moderate Risk): This includes individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes who either do not take diabetes medications or only take drugs that don’t lead to hypoglycemia. If these patients fast, they should regularly check their blood glucose levels and adjust their dose of medication as necessary.
- Yellow (High Risk): Patients in this category include pregnant women with gestational diabetes and patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Fasting is not advised, but exceptions can be made.
- Red (Highest Risk): These patients should fast under no circumstances. They include individuals with severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis three months before Ramadan.
Patients in the yellow or red categories who do insist on fasting need to be counseled beforehand and have their health followed by a diabetes team.
These findings were published by The International Diabetes Federation on April 27, 2016.