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Fasting during Ramadan can be good for your health if it is done correctly - it is what is eaten during non-fasting hours that is often the most important.
For Muslims, fasting from dawn to sunset (abstaining from food and drink) is one of the five pillars of Islam. This year Ramadan starts on 27th of May. Two main meals are eaten just before dawn (Suhoor) and at sunset (Iftar).
there is an overall improvement in glycaemic control during the fast.
The Holy Quran exempts the young, ill, pregnant, breastfeeding, or travelling from fasting.
A large study (EPIDAR) of almost 13 000 Muslims with diabetes showed that 43%
of patients with type 1 and 79% of those with type 2 diabetes fasted during Ramadan.
It is a personal decision to fast or not and therefore requires medical education & support to fast as safely as possible.
General advice for patients
Try to have foods that are more slowly absorbed (with a low GI) to release energy during the long fast
Do your best to stay hydrated. Stick to water and sugar free / decaffeinated fluids.
To help relieve constipation, drink fluids regularly between Iftar and Suhoor and
eat high fibre foods, along with fruit and vegetables.
The way to approach your diet during fasting is similar to the way you should be eating when it is not Ramadan - it should not really differ from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the different food groups as outlined in the eat well guide:
Resources and guides
Muslim Council of Britain - health fact sheet
The Department of Health - Ramadan health guide
NHS Choices - live well pages have lots of information about how to keep healthy and fast safely during Ramadan, inlcuding frequently asked questions.
Self-care during Ramadan - top tips leaflet
Ash Alom, accountable care programme manager at the CCGs, has also put together his guide to Ramadan. It explains more about Ramadan, what happens and the benefits. You can take a look at Ash's guide here.
Managing diabetes during Ramadan
You can view a presentation below which explains more about managing diabetes during Ramadan event (see below) and also read a top tips leaflet here.