In advance of the start of Ramadan, the National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital hosted workshops for patients planning to fast during the Holy Month. With sessions in both English and Arabic, the workshops took place on the evening of 15 May and covered a variety of topics related to fasting with diabetes, including the importance of not making changes to medication regimes without medical supervision, the potential complications of fasting with diabetes, and steps to take in the case of diabetic emergencies, such as low or high blood sugar.
While most patients with Type 2 diabetes are able to fast without complications, it is necessary for diabetics who take medication to consult with their healthcare team to ensure they are taking the necessary precautions. With a physician’s guidance, Mr. Ragae Dughmosh says many diabetics are able to safely fast and avoid serious health complications.
“The purpose of the workshops was to explain how to fast safely with diabetes and how to avoid complications we often see with diabetic patients who are fasting. Our aim was to help reduce the number of patients we see each year who visit our clinics during, or after, Ramadan due to complications they experienced while fasting. The workshop also highlighted, and corrected, common misconceptions patients have about fasting with diabetes,” said Mr. Dughmosh, Diabetes Educator at Al Wakra Hospital and lead organizer for the event.
The workshops were led by Dr. Khaled Dukhan, Senior Consultant, Diabetes and Endocrinology and four diabetes educators from the National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital and were open to all patients of the Center as well as those who registered after seeing posters promoting the sessions. In addition to highlighting categories of patients who can and cannot safely fast, topics of discussion included recommended precautions for diabetic patients who planned to fast and general nutrition and exercise guidelines.
"We tried to provide attendees with a lot of practical tips associated with fasting. For example, exercise can be an important part of keeping the body and mind healthy during Ramadan but its timing is an important part of managing diabetes. The best time to exercise is two hours after breakfast and exercising before Iftar should be avoided. We also remind patients about the importance of checking their blood sugar frequently during both fasting and non-fasting hours,” added Mr. Rajaei Dughmosh.
The workshops concluded with a fun and friendly competition between patients who attended the sessions, with two mobile phones and blood glucose meters being awarded as prizes.
The National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital was opened in 2014 and receives approximately 400 patient visits each month. Created with the vision of uniting clinical care, diabetes education, treatment and research, the National Diabetes Centers at Hamad General and Al Wakra Hospitals were established to both improve the quality of life for those living with diabetes and to treat the disease by focusing on early detection and prevention.