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Guidance on managing diabetes during Ramadan published

The Leicester Diabetes Centre, part of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, has published guidance that says pregnant women and those who are ill should not fast

A centre of excellence in diabetes research and education has produced guidance on how Muslims with diabetes can stay safe during Ramadan.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre, part of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, says people should not fast if they struggle with frequent hypoglycaemia, or are on a mixed insulin regime such as Novomix 30 or Humulin M3. Pregnant women or people who are ill should also avoid fasting, the centre’s experts say.

The guidance includes advice for those whose diabetes is controlled by certain diets or tablets.

Fasting can increase the likelihood of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars levels), as well as increase the chance of high glucose levels at the pre-dawn meal known as Suhoor, and the evening meal called Iftar when the fast for the day ends, the guidance states.

People taking metformin alone for diabetes should adjust their management plan, according to the guidance. Those usually taking only one dose of oral metformin tablets in the morning should continue with the same dose but take it instead with the evening meal when they break the fast.

Kamlesh Khunti, a professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine who helped write the guidance, said: ‘Ramadan is one of the most important periods for a practising Muslim but if you have diabetes then extra consideration and planning are needed to avoid unwanted complications.’

Click here to read the guidance

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