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Ramadan in UAE: Doctors’ fasting advice for residents with diabetes, high cholesterol – News


published: Monday, March 20, 2023 at 6:00 am

Doctors in the UAE advise that staying healthy during Ramadan includes maintaining a healthy balance between spiritual practices, eating habits and physical activity.

Preparing your body for a month-long fast is just as important — especially for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and pregnant women.

Here are some tips from UAE doctors:

fasting during pregnancy

Dr Naela El Sayed Ismail, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at Dubai Prime Hospital, told Khaleej Times: “Pregnant women who are willing to fast during Ramadan should seek the advice of their doctor throughout the month to ensure that the fast will not affect their baby.”

“It is important for pregnant women to follow up with their doctor before deciding to fast. Fasting for pregnant women is not mandatory, it depends on their condition and fasting ability,” she adds.

Dr. Ismail noted that fasting is not medically recommended for pregnant women with complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure or anemia. “Pregnant women with these underlying conditions should avoid fasting to protect themselves and their unborn baby from any further unnecessary complications.”

Dr Saba Khalid, family medicine specialist at Prime Medical Center added: “Pregnancy can be physically and emotionally demanding, so it’s important to get enough rest and avoid strenuous physical activity. If you experience any discomfort or health problems while fasting , please break your fast and seek medical attention.”

Precautions for pregnant women before fasting:

  • Pregnant women’s decision to fast depends on their condition and fasting ability
  • Plan your fast according to the following food types

– Low-glycemic carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread, oats, and sweet potatoes

– Fiber-rich foods, such as green leafy vegetables and fruits, help prevent constipation

– Protein-rich foods such as eggs, fish, meat and chicken should be cooked and fresh

fasting for diabetics

Dr Bashar Neamat Sahar, an endocrinologist at the Saudi German Hospital in Dubai, said: “If you are diabetic and are willing to fast throughout Ramadan, then it is important to see a specialist first and get proper advice on how to adjust your pre-Ramadan diet. medicine.”

“Those at low risk and with controlled diabetes at baseline did not require medication adjustments,” he added.

Dr. Ghassan Aldadah, consultant internal medicine at Ajman Hospital in Saudi Arabia, also recommends maintaining blood sugar levels within a safe range. “It is strongly recommended that people with diabetes undergo certain laboratory tests such as HBA1C (measuring average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months), cholesterol and other vital signs to assess their ability to fast.”

“During fasting, if the patient has symptoms such as profuse sweating, extreme fatigue, rapid heartbeat, severe thirst, dizziness, etc., the blood sugar must be measured. If the test result is 70 or less or 300 or more, then the patient must stop immediately Fasting,” adds Dr. Aldadah.

Dos and Don’ts for Staying Healthy While Fasting with Diabetes

  • Make sure you have a meter and know how to use it
  • Meet with your nutritionist ahead of time to discuss potential medication adjustment plans that may be needed, as your meal timing and usual eating patterns will vary during fasting periods
  • Know what to do if you experience hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia while fasting
  • Schedule a Ramadan preparation visit with your healthcare provider and diabetes care team before Ramadan begins.

fasting for people with comorbidities

Those suffering from comorbidities such as hypertension, migraine and hyperlipidemia (high blood fat and cholesterol) should change their eating habits and lifestyle during Ramadan,” advised Dr Srinivas Rao, an internal medicine specialist at NMC Specialist Hospital in Dubai .

Tips for Staying Healthy

  • Patients with high blood pressure should reduce salt intake
  • Migraine sufferers experience frequent relapses during Ramadan due to higher caffeine intake and lower fluid intake.So, try to reduce your caffeine intake and increase your water intake
  • Follow a low-fat diet.During Ramadan, eat less greasy food and eat more vegetables to avoid hyperlipidemia
  • Movement controls body physiology.Do moderate-intensity activities such as walking and jogging, especially after Iftar or Suhoor
  • Adequate sleep allows vital organs to rest


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