KARACHI: The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), Prof Masroor stated that every Muslim wishes to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, but it is difficult for diabetic patients to do so. Fasting for a patient with diabetes involves individual planning and care from a doctor. Diabetic patients thus must seek consultation from their doctor one month prior to Ramadan so that the timing of their medications must be adjusted in accordance.
He spoke as the Chief Guest at a public awareness seminar on “Safe Fasting during Ramadan” organized by the National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Dow University, Ojha Campus.
The seminar was addressed by the Director, NIDE, Prof Akhtar Ali Baloch, Assistant Professor, Dr Syed Mohammad Hasan, Associate Professor, Dr Mohammad Shahid, Assistant Professor, Dr Zareen Kiran, Dr Fareed, and renowned TV actor, Anwar Iqbal. The seminar was attended by Prof Sumbul Shamim, Dr Rustam Zaman, Prof Shehla, Prof Shaheen Sharafat, along with senior faculty members, students, and a large number of patients suffering from this disease.
Prof Masroor said that diabetes is increasing at a high pace; we have to work for its treatment and cure at the local level. Fasting during Ramadan for a diabetic patient involves several critical considerations which includes taking medicines on time and frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels especially during the starting days of Ramadan. If the sugar levels are found to be as low as 70 mg/dL or as high as 300 mg/dL, then it is recommended to break your fast immediately because Islam emphasizes equally upon saving one’s life even if it costs to break your fast. One can also take guidance from a religious scholar regarding the topic.
He stated that doctors just want to see his patients healthy; thus, it is necessary to seek their advice before fasting as it will be beneficial for you.
While speaking at the seminar, Anwar Iqbal said that there is no disease on earth whose treatment or cure is not available in the present day. Diabetes can be controlled by taking a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and proper and timely intake of your prescribed dose of medicines.
Director, NIDE, Prof Akhtar Ali Baloch, said that sugar could also affect other parts of the body, and it can cause other diseases related to kidneys, heart, and hypertension. During fasting, diabetic patients may experience hypoglycemia and dehydration which can be risky. Patients with diabetes have a weak immune system; thus consulting a doctor is essential for them.
He informed that patients could use insulin while fasting, as it won’t affect the fast. Fasting can also be beneficial for those who have risks of developing diabetes. He emphasized upon exercise for such patients and said that people going for Taraweeh needs not to do extra workouts as Taraweeh is itself a healthy exercise which cures the mind and the body.
Assistant Professor, Syed Mohammad Hasan, said that diabetic patients could eat a small piece of date at the time of Iftar. Foods like brown bread and yogurt at the time of Seher will be helpful for such patients as its digestion takes time. He said that people suffering from kidney and heart diseases should also see their doctors before planning a fast.
He added that patients could also take injections and medications through ear or eyes, if necessary while fasting. He also talked about the adjustment of medicine and its timings during the month of Ramadan.
At the end of the seminar, Prof Akhter Ali Baloch distributed free tokens for diabetic patients for a lab test. These tokens are valid for ten days in which glucose, HBAIC, cholesterol, micro-Albumin, creatinine total tests are included. Patients can use these token for getting a free test done from any Dow Lab of the city.