Evaluating the Effect of Ramadan Fasting on Muslim Patients with Diabetes in relation to Use of Medication and Lifestyle Patterns: A Prospective Study

Int J Endocrinol. 2014;2014:308546. doi: 10.1155/2014/308546. Epub 2014 Nov 11.


Objectives. This study aimed to examine the effect of Ramadan fasting on HbA1c in Muslim patients with type 2 diabetes. The incidence of hypoglycemia and glycemic changes in relation to the adjustment of doses of antidiabetic agents, diet, and physical activity during Ramadan was also evaluated. Methods. This was a prospective study conducted in an outpatient endocrine clinic. A set of questionnaires was administered to Muslim patients with diabetes who fasted for ≥10 days. Those who were hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis or severe hypoglycemia a month prior to Ramadan or were given short-term corticosteroid therapy were excluded. The patients' responses and clinical outcomes from the clinic database were collected before, during, and after Ramadan. Results. A total of 153 participants completed the study. The mean HbA1c improved from 8.9% before Ramadan to 8.6% during Ramadan (P < 0.05). Although diet and physical activity did not contribute to changes in glycemia, a significant improvement in HbA1c was observed in patients who had adjustments made to their doses of antidiabetic agents during Ramadan (P < 0.001). In addition, their rate of hypoglycemia was minimal. Conclusions. Ramadan fasting appeared to improve glycemic control, especially in those whose doses of antidiabetic agents were adjusted during Ramadan.