Keping your diabetes in control - Being Safe whilst Fasting
Are you aware that Ramadan is happening in the summer time and that fasting hours are longer?
It is especially important to speak to your diabetes team before you start fasting if you are on tablets and/or insulin. You can still make an appointment to see them and receive tailored advice to help keep you safe this Ramadan.
You should test your blood glucose levels and keep in touch with your diabetes team as needed. It is advised to monitor your blood glucose and this will not break your fast, but if your glucose levels fall below 4mmol/l you will need to end your fast.
To fast ot not to fast?
In the following instances we advise people with diabetes not to fast during Ramadan for their own safety:
- Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes on amixed insulin regime e.g. Novomix 30, Humulin M3
- Type 1 or Type 2 struggling with frequent hypoglycamia
- During illness
Is you diabetes managed by diet only?
If you belong to this group you can fast without the risk of hypoglycaemia, see dietary advice section for more information.
Changes To Your Treatment
If you choose to fast, please discuss it with your Doctor, Nurse or Dietitian. Your diabetes nurse or doctor will be able to make recommendations regarding your treatment to keep you safe.
Is your diabetes controlled by diet and oral tablets and Exenatide and/or Liraglutide?
If you belong to this group you can also fast but you maybe at risk of hypoglycaemia. Those using Metformin alone to control their blood glucose levels can use the information below. If you are taking any other medications to control your blood glucose levels please speak to your diabetes team. (e.g. Gliclazide)
It is very important that you speak to your diabetes team first as all tablets work differently.
Please take note of the advice that your diabetes team gives you. If you have been advised NOT to fast, please take this advice on board and do not fast.
If you are taking an SGLT2 such as Dapagliflozin, Canagliflozin, or Empagliflozin you need to take this when you break the fast”
Have a look at the following sections to help you determine this. Insulin Therapy
- People with Type 1 Diabetes are often advised not to fast this depends on your insulin regime
- You can fast if you understand that your insulin regimen will need to be altered
- You will need to monitor your self regularly
- Be prepared to break the fast if you have symptoms of a Hypo (low blood glucose). You can always make it up or give to the poor
- You should never stop your insulin
- Whether you have Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, if you are on a basal bolus insulin regimen (e.g. you take background insulin either once or twice a day and quick acting insulin with meals) you may need to alter your dose of background long acting and alter the timing and amount of quick acting insulin in relation to meals
- If you have Type 2 Diabetes and take tablets and night time insulin. You may continue to take your night time insulin but alter your tablets according to the tablet guidelines mentioned previously
- If you are on a pre-mixed insulin regimen e.g. Novomix 30, Humulin M3, Humalog mix 25,or mix 50, you may need to seek advice to reduce dose and timings or change to a different insulin regimen during Ramadan
If you decide to fast this year please remember that there are risk associated with fasting and you need to keep safe.
For more advice download the looking after your diabetes Advice booklet below
Looking after your diabetes during Ramadan - A guide for patients
Updated Leicestershire booklet 08/2012 Download Document