All over the world, followers of Islam religion fast from dawn to dusk for one whole month. Typically persons who regularly fast, skip their medicines or adjust the dose without consulting their doctors. This can lead to many preventable health complications. Below is a video in which I go through some of the key health tips that you should consider, particularly if you are suffering from lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
The information provided in this video shall only be used for educational purpose only. Every person and every type of disease they are suffering from is different and so are the medicines they normally take. So, you should definitely consult with your doctor before adjusting the dosage of your medicines.
If you don’t have time to watch the video, here are some key points to note.
- Do not skip your medicines
- After breaking fast, drink plenty of fluids
- Take the last meal as late as possible
- Avoid heavy physical work during the fasting hours
- Frequently monitor blood sugar levels with glucometers
- Say no to juices and beverages
If you are taking medicines like ‘Metformin’
- Your doctor will divide the total dosage of Metformin in such a way that you need to take 2/3rds along with the evening meal and the rest before the dawn meal.
- Be careful while taking medicines from the Sulphonylurea group (Glibenclamide)
If you are taking insulin:
- Your doctor might change the type of insulin to a long-acting one. In this case, you will need to take the injection after the evening meal and then subsequent injection dosage will be reduced by 20%.
- If you take insulin 2 times a day, skip the morning dose and take it after the evening meal and half of the evening dose should be taken at dawn.
- Watch out for the signs of low blood sugar like sweating, yawning, dizziness, lightheadedness, and tiredness.
Diet for diabetics while fasting:
- Most of the calories should come from carbohydrates. Sources like whole grains, leafy vegetables are preferred.
- 20%-30% should come from fats and 10% from saturated fats. Read this article to learn more about fatty acids.
- Protein sources like fish, poultry, and dairy should comprise 30%-40% of the total calorie intake.
- Try to reduce polished rice and wheat
- Say no to desserts and fruit juices.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
- No need to worry if you are taking medicines as prescribed.
- An only slight increase in heart rate has been found in patients with high blood pressure during the first 10 days, which normally subsides all by itself.
- Ask your doctor to change the medicine or prescribe a long-acting once daily tablet
- Avoid dehydration by drinking a lot of fluids
- Monitor your blood pressure frequently at home with digital blood pressure meters
- People with stable heart disease and those who are taking medicines properly, without facing any symptoms can safely fast
- Avoid fasting if you had a recent episode of heart attack or heart surgery like angioplasty or bypass grafting
- Avoid fasting if you have unstable angina and uncontrolled hypertension
- Thyroid hormone supplements can be taken at night before sleep.
- Ask your doctor for once or twice daily tablets if you are prescribed antibiotics or paracetamol
- If you have a high-grade fever or if your life is at risk, listen to your doctors’ advice.
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