Friday, July 13, 2012

Diabetes and Ramadhan

Islam is the official religion in Malaysia and more than 50 % of the Malaysian population are Muslims. Soon in a few days  the holy month of Ramadhan will come. It is the month that the Quran was revealed and Muslims will fast between 29 to 30 days in that month. Muslims will abstain from eating and drinking  from sunrise to sunset from around 5:45 am to around 7:15 pm. Like other any other Muslims your truly also  would not eat and drink during that time. What is more challenging is that I'm   also Type 2 diabetic a disease that I did not  know I had it. I would like to share my own experience in managing diabetes during the holy month of Ramadhan. I've had diabetes for more than 20 years and I tell you its not easy to manage the disease in the ordinary month let alone during Ramadhan. The temptation to eat is greater in the month due to the abundant of "Pasar Ramadhan".

One of the things that  I would do is to  adhere rather strictly to the medication regime even during the fasting month. I would try as much as I can to follow the normal medication except that the time to take the medication would be  at dawn and at dusk-during the breaking of fast and iftar or sahur. I would take the same amount of  my glicazide (rather small white coloured tablet) as prescribed by the doctor. I was told by a doctor that glicazide does not cause hypoglycemic ( In lay man's  term its the lack of sugar in our body). Those using insulin please get more information from your personal doctor.

However, it is important that the amount of metformin ( the slightly big white coloured tablet) be adjusted because during the fasting month our blood glucose level is going to be  lower compare to  during the ordinary month. If during the ordinary days I would take two but during the fasting month I would only take once. You need to adjust accordingly. However, before you actually reduce the amount of metformin to be taken , you need to talk to your doctor first. In my case I feel comfortable with the reduced amount that I take.

One thing that I would definitely do during the ramadhan is that if I feel that my sugar level is very low I would break my fast immediately. Depending on the person a person can experience hypoglycaemic if the glucose level is 1-3.5 mmol. I would always keep fresh orange juice in my fridge and would drink some when experiencing hypo. Try to drink it slowly and try not to drink too much. I believe half a cup would do. Later on  don't forget to  drink water.

The most difficult part during the ramadhan is the breaking of fast where the buffet spread is just amazing. My favourites are always putik nangka, karamel, tahi itik, kole kacang, and the sweet dishes from Kelantan. But those were the days and I would just break the fast with dates. No more big glasses of sweet drinks but just warm water. I have promised my self that I would be a good boy. "Selamat Menyambut bulan Puasa" to all Muslims. "Banyak banyaklah beribadat dalam bulan yang mulia ini". 

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