Blood sugar control among fasting Muslims with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Ilorin

Niger J Med. Jul-Sep 2001;10(3):132-4.


Fasting in the month of Ramadan represents a recurring annual event in the life of a Muslim. It also represents one of the five pillars around which the Islamic faith revolves making it desirable to even diabetic Muslims if only to live a spiritually fulfilling life. We therefore embarked upon the study of 33 patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus who fasted in the month of Ramadan of 1417 Hijra year (1997 Gregorian) with a view to establishing the effect of fasting on their blood sugar control. This is meant to serve as a framework for establishing a scientific basis for advice to Muslim diabetic patients who may wish to fast in subsequent years. Eight point three percent of patients considered for enrollment signified their non-willingness to fast even after health-education. In the month preceding fasting the mean +/- SD for fasting blood sugar (FBS) was 6.71 +/- 2.81 mmol/L, 6.50 +/- 2.34 mmol/L for the month of Ramadan and 6.93 +/- 2.53 mmol/L for the month after. There was no statistically significant difference between the means for the three months. However, larger percentage of patients (76%) had their fasting blood sugar improved upon during fasting than either before or after. In addition, there was no reported case of acute complication from diabetic emergencies all through the period of the study. Based on these findings, it was concluded that most Type 2 diabetic patients actually do as well, like their normal counterparts during fasting and could be encouraged to do so provided they are clinically stable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Diet, Diabetic
  • Fasting / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents