Diabetic patients urged to consult doctors before fasting in Ramazan

Statistics suggested that Pakistan had the 3rd highest prevalence of diabetes in the world after China (141 million) and India (74 million).

A large number of people with diabetes in Pakistan keep fast in the holy month of Ramazan. However, they must consult their physicians before the start of the holy month to adjust their medicines and insulin to remain healthy and fit; diabetologists told a news conference on Saturday.

The former president of the Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES), Prof Saeed Mahar, said, “Over 90 percent of 33 million diabetic patients keep fast in the holy month of Ramazan in Pakistan. However, most patients need to consult their physicians for medical advice.”

Mahar maintained that patients with diabetes could have their blood glucose levels low and high during fasting, resulting in serious health complications.

Other experts also urged the people with diabetes planning to consult with their doctors before the beginning of Ramazan quickly.

According to the experts, fasting without observing proper advice could adversely affect the health of an individual suffering from a chronic condition such as diabetes. Awareness and adherence to scientific policies on this topic would make fasting much safer for people with diabetes.

The speakers also stressed that observing a highly individualized management plan and close follow-up was essential to avoid complications. People often consume large portions of unhealthy deep-fried, oily, and sugary food items and beverages during Iftar, leading to complications.

The Diabetes Taskforce KP Chairman Prof AH Amir said diabetes was increasing in Pakistan at an alarming rate. As per the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, almost 33 million adults live with the health condition.

He said that the statistics suggested that Pakistan had the 3rd highest prevalence of diabetes in the world after China (141 million) and India (74 million).

“Additionally, 11 million adults in Pakistan have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), which places them at high srisk of developing type 2 diabetes,” he explained. The KP chairman added that the most alarming fact was that over a quarter (26.9 percent) of adults living with diabetes in Pakistan were undiagnosed. To a query, Prof Abbas Raza from Lahore said people with diabetes whose blood glucose dropped below 70 mg/dL during fasting were advised to break their fast.

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