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It's safe sometimes. Some people may choose to not eat for a period of time (fast) for religious reasons, such as from dawn to sunset during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
However, talk with your doctor before you fast. He or she will likely explain potential risks of complications such as low or high blood sugar and dehydration. Your doctor may suggest that you avoid fasting if you're at high risk of complications. If you choose to fast, your doctor and diabetes care team will likely provide you with education about managing your diabetes and adjusting your medications or insulin doses.
You may have a high risk of complications if you fast during Ramadan and you have one or more of the following:
But it may be safe for you to fast with diabetes during Ramadan if you:
If you choose to fast during Ramadan, your doctor and diabetes care team will likely recommend that you:
You may be able to fast safely during Ramadan if you understand the risks, manage your diabetes and carefully follow your doctor's recommendations.
M. Regina Castro, M.D.
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