Abstinence from food and liquid during daylight hours is observed by Muslim individuals during the month of Ramadan. Even though the Koran exempts the sick from fasting, many people with diabetes still fast during this religious period. It is essential for patients, family and healthcare professionals to be aware of the religious attitude to and health implications of fasting. Major changes in dietary habits, daily physical activities and sleeping patterns during Ramadan have significant impact on the glycaemic control, lipid profile, weight and dietary intake. Hence, the patient is encouraged to have appropriate pre-Ramadan assessment and education in order to stratify and modify his or her risk with fasting. Dose and timing adjustments to insulin and to some oral hypoglycaemic agents, especially sulphonylureas, may well be necessary during Ramadan.
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