KARACHI: “People with diabetes, eager to fast must consult with their doctor prior to the beginning of Ramazan and follow medical advice.” Medical Experts from Diabetes Task Force and Advice Academy said while speaking to the media on ‘Diabetes Management during Ramazan’ organized by Sanofi Pakistan.
According to experts, fasting without following proper guidance could adversely affect the health of a person suffering from a chronic condition such as diabetes. Greater awareness and adherence to scientific guidelines on this topic will make Ramazan a safer experience for people with diabetes.
Similarly, physicians should assess their patients’ ability to fast and advise accordingly. Patients must not place themselves at risk, as the decision to fast or not, should be based on medical advice. The speakers also emphasized that following a highly individualized management plan and close follow-up is essential to avoid the development of complications.
The panel of speakers comprised Prof. Dr. A.H Aamir Chairman Diabetes Task Force, KPK, Prof Dr. Saeed A Mahar Past President, Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES), Dr. S. Abbas Raza Executive Committee member, International Society of Endocrinology and Dr. Faisal Masood Qureshi – Executive Member, Pakistan Endocrine Society.
Patients do not always fully understand the implications of diabetes and the impact that fasting could have on their health. People often consume large quantities of unhealthy deep fried, oily and sugary food items and beverages during Iftar and that can lead to complications. Patients should specifically ask their doctors about medication dosage and timing alteration, diet and fluid intake, physical activity, self-monitoring of blood glucose, and symptoms of low or high blood glucose that may necessitate breaking the fast in order to prevent damage or danger to the patients’ well-being. People with diabetes must perform regular blood sugar monitoring during Ramazan and focus on maintaining an appropriate diet in Sehar and Iftar for safe fasting.
Sanofi has a rich heritage in diabetes research and development. In Pakistan, Sanofi has been regularly introducing new diabetes products for over half a century. Today, Sanofi Pakistan has the unique distinction of having the most comprehensive portfolio of insulins as well as oral diabetes management therapies. “At Sanofi, we are committed to supporting initiatives that answer the needs of the local community, placing the patient at the heart of the activity. We strive to improve the lives of people with diabetes by helping them to manage their condition well and live full, healthy lives. Ramazan is approaching and understandably, many people with diabetes are eager to fast. Therefore, it is imperative that any person with diabetes wanting to fast should visit their healthcare provider for a pre-Ramazan consultation.” Dr. Asim Jamal, General Manager & Managing Director, Sanofi Pakistan.
Diabetes is increasing in Pakistan at an alarming rate. According to the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, almost 33 million adults or one in four adults in Pakistan are living with this condition. These figures make Pakistan the 3rd highest prevalence of diabetes in the world, after China (141 million) and India (74 million). Additionally, 11 million adults in Pakistan have Impaired Glucose Tolerance, which places them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Most alarming is that over than a quarter (26.9%) of adults living with diabetes in Pakistan are undiagnosed.