Auto-phagy (Fasting) and Diabetes
Fasting the second pillar of Islam has undeniable physical and spiritual impact on human being. Scientifically fasting is described as Auto-phagy meaning a process of starving your body to allow cells to RECYCLE their contents so that our cells clears the toxins from our body. This process (fasting) can combat diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer, diabetes and even cancer!
Fasting tends to reduce blood glucose and Insulin levels and burn body Fats deposition BUT its “highly individualized” thus requires proper guidance one or two months before the month of Ramazan Mubarak commence.
A diabetes care team would assess generalized wellbeing, blood glucose control particularly the risk factor of hypo glycemia (low blood sugars), other comorbid particularly cardiac and kidney functions.
After detail assessment, person with diabetes needs to be educated about the symptoms of hypoglycemia glycemia (low blood sugars) and hyperglycemia glycemia (high blood sugars). He should know when it’s necessary to break the fast, when to check blood glucose levels and what are my target blood glucose levels?
Remember pricking during fasting for checking blood glucose will NOT break the fast. For prevention of hypoglycemia , skipping sehri is NOT allowed and it must be taken as late as its allowed in Islam while Iftar must be taken as early as its allowed in Islam.
Any kind of vigorous exercise or activity during fasting is not allowed. Regular light to moderate intensity walk after iftar is encouraging and traweh is included in exercise plan. It could be vast change in drugs or Insulin regime, their timings and dosage so its highly recommended that before Ramazan you must visit your diabetes care team.
Always remember this rule of thumb for diet of Ramazan that simple sugars (less sweetened sherbet) and low-fat diet (less fried items) in Iftar is recommended contrary to complex carbohydrate (Oats, bran chappati) and relatively moderate fat diet (Paratha) in Sehari for optimal glycemic control.
Generally, less salty and spicy food, low fat and high fiber diet with recommended balanced amount of protein and carbs is advisable. Baked or grilled food items are better options than deep fried snacks. Fresh fruits in Iftar and fresh salad (Fiber) must be incorporated in dinner. At least 10 to 15 glasses of water are recommended in hot summers while sugary and caffeinated drinks must be avoided. Smoothies, shakes and lassi without sugar are healthy options for beverages in sehri and iftar. Lastly don’t forget to contact your diabetes health care team before Ramazan for a healthy blessed fasting in Ramazan.
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