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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Diabetes and fasting during Ramadan

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Irritability

Tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue or cheek

As low blood sugar worsens, signs and symptoms can include:

Confusion, abnormal behavior or both, such as the inability to complete routine tasks

Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision

Seizures

Loss of consciousness

 

Low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia, needs immediate treatment. For many people, a fasting blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or below should serve as an alert for hypoglycemia. But your father's numbers might be different, so it will be important to have a conversation with him and his health care provider to know what number is too low for him.

Likewise, high blood sugar is something that needs to be watched. Additionally, your father will need to follow his health care provider's advice and suggestions regarding specific food, drink and exercise during the holiday. He should be prepared to adjust his medication doses as appropriate, and, most importantly, be ready to stop fasting if there is an issue.

Fasting during Ramadan can be done safely as long as you and your father take time to understand the risks, identify the best way to help him manage his care and carefully follow the care team's recommendations.

― Dr. M. Regina Castro, Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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