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Ramadan 2024: Managing diabetes during the holy month of Ramadan health news

For those with diabetes, however, this holy season brings a unique challenge. Balancing religious obligations with health considerations can be difficult, yet essential to maintaining wellness during this holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

Fasting from dawn to sunset is a fundamental pillar of Ramadan. However, for people managing diabetes, abstaining from food and drink can cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate.

To maintain energy levels and nourish the body, rituals include pre-dawn meals and evening feasts. However, for people with diabetes, these foods need to be carefully considered to prevent any sudden spikes or drops. Apart from a balanced nutrition plan, regular monitoring is important for people with diabetes.

Accurate and real-time blood glucose readings can be continuously tracked with prick-free devices such as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). This combination of a balanced diet and regular monitoring is essential for those fasting during this time, ensuring effective management of blood glucose levels throughout the holy month.

Dr. Anil Ballani, MBBS, MD, Consultant Physician, PD Hinduja and Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai said, “According to a recent ICMR study, 101 million people in India are living with diabetes, emphasizing the importance of effective holistic management.

Amidst the holy observance of Ramadan, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) emerges as a companion for people with diabetes. Through real-time tracking of blood sugar levels, CGM empowers individuals to identify and manage any glucose spikes associated with pre- and post-meal meals.

Using CGM insights, people can make informed dietary decisions. This can help them navigate portion sizes and meal times, along with making diabetes-specific nutritional choices that meet their needs. The symbiotic relationship between CGM data and dietary decisions fosters both effective blood glucose management and a sense of empowerment.

Here are some tips to manage your diabetes while you observe Ramadan this year:

Monitor blood glucose levels regularly: It is very important to check your blood glucose levels regularly. CGM devices support real-time glucose monitoring rather than capturing blood sugar levels at specific times.

Data is easily accessible even on your smartphone and can support simple decision-making regarding diet, physical activity and therapy. Using data from these devices enables individuals to take corrective action with meal plans and maintain health during this period.

Recharge your body with the right nutrients during Iftar: Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates and fruits, followed by a properly balanced meal. Make sure to drink water and hydrate yourself well, and avoid highly caffeinated or sugary drinks like coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

It is important to plan a stable meal to maintain a balance between carbohydrate, protein and fat intake. Eat more nutritious and fiber-rich starchy foods like oats, multigrain breads, vegetables, lentils (lentils) and protein like fish, tofu and nuts.

Additionally, you can take a diabetes-specific oral nutritional supplement as an evening snack during Iftar (or even Sehri). Such scientifically formulated supplements with high-quality protein and essential nutrients have a slow-release energy system that helps manage one’s blood glucose, hunger and energy levels. Consult your doctor to select the right solution for your nutritional needs.

Keep your body active: Physical activity is as important as proper diabetes nutrition, it is also essential for maintaining good health. Along with eating right while fasting, staying fit through regular exercise is a great way to control diabetes.

Avoiding overexertion and aggressive workouts (especially during the last few hours of fasting) is recommended. Instead, do simple workouts of about 30 minutes. This can include walking or yoga.

Improve your sleep schedule: Ramadan often involves staying up late with friends and family. However, getting enough hours of adequate quality sleep is crucial to maintaining good health.

It also helps people avoid sleep deprivation, which can negatively affect your hunger or cravings levels. In addition, sleep plays an important role in regulating immunity, metabolism, and blood glucose levels, which are essential when managing diabetes.

There is no challenge that cannot be handled with a dedicated action plan. These four simple steps can help you feel healthy even after long periods of fasting.

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