CAIRO – As the clock ticks towards the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, diabetic Muslim youth are urged to fast wisely by following the right medical recommendations.
“From a religious perspective, Islam teaches us to protect our body from harm, so the recommendation is that those who are at risk when fasting should listen to the advice of experts,” Dr Mohamed Hassanein, Consultant Endocrinologist at Dubai Health Authority’s Dubai Hospital, told Khaleej Times on Sunday, June 7.
Dr. Hassanein was talking about young diabetic Muslims who find it embarrassing to abandon fasting, while their friends do not.
Diabetic youth can safely shun difficulties by following the right medical recommendations, according to experts.
“Not being able to fast can isolate an individual and make them more susceptible to bullying. As a result, many choose to fast in order to fit in with others,” Dr. Hassanein.
“What we need to do is educate them on how to best manage their diabetes while fasting.”
For the medical expert, raising awareness about the disease is two-fold.
“We need to teach society as a whole, not just those with diabetes,” Hassanein said.
“We need to educate them that there are conditions when it comes to fasting. People need to recognize that not everyone can fast, but it does not make them any less religious than their peers.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Hassanein stated that the active lifestyle of youth poses as a challenge for managing the disease.
“Throw fasting in on top of this and the situation becomes even more complicated. A lack of routine with younger people means diabetes management varies.”
Diabetic Muslims who choose to fast during the month were urged to seek medical advice to identify risks of fasting.
“Patients need to be fully aware of their condition and the impact fasting can have on it so as to minimize the risk, whether through modification of treatment or simple education,” DR. Hassanein said.
“You need to stay one step ahead of your diabetes. Symptoms of high glucose levels include thirst and frequent urination. Signs of low glucose levels include feeling faint, dizzy, weak and tired.”
Dr. Hussanein also called on parents to monitor their diabetic son or daughter during fasting.
“Frequently encourage them to check their blood glucose levels during fasting and eating, and when they are with you, try to avoid giving them sugary carbohydrates, spicy and salty foods.”
In Ramadan, fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur’an and good deeds.
Muslims also dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
The majority of Muslims prefer to pay Zakah for the poor and needy during the month.
The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.
Muslim scholars confirm that if a Muslim diabetic need to insulin injection, then he belongs to the category of people who are exempt from fasting.
It is not at all considered an act of piety to fast while one is suffering from the type of diabetes that requires insulin injection during the day.