Home monitoring of blood glucose levels is considered to be one of the most important tasks for diabetics, especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
“All fasting diabetics are advised to carry out home monitoring, whether during fasting or during the night time, to ensure the proper control of blood glucose levels,” according to
Ms. Amani Ageenah, a Senior Health Educator at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
“Home monitoring enables diabetics to identify the impact of insulin and meals on their blood glucose levels,” Ms. Ageenah said. “It also identifies blood glucose levels at times when the patient feels they have a high or low blood glucose level.”
She said during Ramadan, the timing and frequency of home analysis differs from one patient to another. “In the first instance, diabetics should seek the advice of their doctor or health educator,” Ms. Ageenah said. “But, as a rule, home analysis should be carried out before a meal and two hours after a meal to compare the analysis results with the targeted blood glucose levels as determined by the doctor.”
Ms. Ageenah said the acceptable limits of blood glucose level during the day should be more than 100 mg/dl and less than 200 mg/dl.
- Before fasting: 80 – 130 mg/dl.
- Three hours after fasting: 80 -180 mg/dl.
Further, times for analysis of blood glucose level should be at 12 pm (noon), before Iftar, three hours after Iftar, just before Suhour and two hours after Suhour.
Ms. Ageenah said diabetics face some complications during Ramadan which can be managed. “Diabetics can be susceptible to hypoglycemia if Sahour is missed while taking sugar controlling medicines, or if too much physical effort is exerted during fasting,” she said.
“It is important to maintain the daily quantity and quality of food prescribed by the attending nutritional therapist.” She suggests:
- Having two basic meals - Iftar and Sahour - in addition to a light third meal in between.
- Sahour should be delayed up to pre-dawn time.
- Continue the usual daily activities, but rest during the afternoon.
- Drink large quantities of water after Iftar to compensate for the fasting period.
- In cases of hypoglycemia, fasting should be immediately stopped and sugary food eaten, even if it is a short time before (sunset) Iftar time.