Diabetes and fasting
There may be times when you decide to go on a fast. This could be:
- if you are fasting or only allowed fluids before or immediately after your medical procedure or surgery
- for religious purposes—such as Ramadan or Lent
- to achieve a weight goal or ‘detox’ your body.
If you are considering fasting, it is very important that you talk with your doctor on how best to manage this.
It is possible that during fasting, a person with diabetes could develop high blood glucose levels if they don’t take their medication, or if they are less physically active than normal.
Discuss with your doctor or diabetes educator any difficulties that you may have faced during previous fasts and how you coped with them. They can advise you on any adjustment of medication that may be required to help you fast safely.
Fasting and managing your diabetes during Ramadan
During Ramadan foods and fluids are allowed only at night, so fasting extends from dawn to sunset. Longer gaps between meals and greater amounts of foods—in particular, a higher intake of carbohydrates—may lead to major swings in blood glucose levels.
If you have any concerns, discuss these with your doctor or diabetes educator.