I was born in Morocco and have been living in Italy for many years. My mother has type 2 diabetes; I am slightly overweight, with a blood sugar level of just over 100 mg/dl. Could the Ramadan rules cause problems for me or make my situation worse?
He answers Stefano Pariniinternist, AUSL Ferrara, Association of Diabetologists (GO TO THE FORUM)
As is known, Ramadan is the month dedicated to fasting and prayer for all Muslim believers; minors, the elderly and the sick are exempt (e.g. people with diabetes), lactating or pregnant women. From sunrise to sunset, the believers are not allowed to drink or eat. But what impact can fasting Ramadan have on those who, like you, the so-called «metabolic syndrome», risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes? A meta-analysis of studies conducted from 1950 to 2022 and recently published in the journal Nutrition, metabolism and cardiovascular disease.
This was evident from the collected data HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar are significantly reduced at the end of Ramadan, as well as the measurement of waist circumference and blood pressure decreased, but with no gender or ethnic differences. So we can assume that it has fasting in the month of Ramadan a positive influence on metabolic parameters, suggesting some protection, albeit temporary, against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But we must also bear in mind that Ramadan, in addition to a period of fasting, is a time of prayer that in the Islamic world is characterized by important and repeated movements of the body, as a kind of regular exercise. All this confirms that a Mediterranean diet, rich in fiber, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and regular exercise are the basis of a correct lifestyle.
Of course, these considerations do not apply to diabetics and perhaps in therapy. For these people – incidentally not bound to comply with the prescription – it is recommended to comply a regular balance between nutrition, therapy and physical activitypossibly remodulating and adapting the therapy to this period. Regarding your specific situation, since sometimes your blood sugar has changed (> 100 mg/dl), I recommend that you contact your doctor to evaluate any targeted tests. If they are marked a picture of sugar intolerancea more structured intervention is indicated to prevent the onset of full-blown diabetes sooner or later.
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