“I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 11 years old. I need to take insulin injections twice a day, and I also need to eat something every two to three hours to prevent my blood sugar levels from dropping. As with all Type 1 patients, my blood sugars fluctuate widely, so it has never been possible for me to fast,” Imran Rafi Khan, 31, a banker from Pakistan, told Gulf News.
Caring for the needy
More to Ramadan
For Huda Hassan, 34, a Somalian behaviour therapist, the holy month is a time for reflection and family. “I’ve been living with Type 1 diabetes for the past 22 years, and I know fully well that even small changes in my routine greatly affect my blood sugar and well-being. When I was young, I did feel left out because I could not fast along with the other members of my family. But as I have grown, I’ve come to understand that there is much more I can engage in during the holy month,” she said.
In recent years, certain studies, including a paper published in 2007 by the renowned US biomedical research agency, the National Institutes of Health, have found that prolonged fasting can be safe even for Type 1 diabetics, given insulin adjustments and strict glucose monitoring.
Hassan, who tried fasting one Ramadan, said that fasting in this manner is however “a full-time job”. “I tried fasting for a whole Ramadan a few years ago, and I was able to pull it off because I was working part-time and could rest during the day. Otherwise, basic activities at work can lead to dangerous shifts in my blood sugar, and I prefer to focus on the other aspects of Ramadan,” she said.
For Zeeshan Hammaji, not being able to fast during the holy month is still very new. The 25-year-old IT professional from India was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes only last year. “I generally avoid it during the week. But I have managed to fast during the weekends this year, with the help of my brother, who helps me manage my blood sugar and insulin injections,” he said. “I am also focusing now on the nightly worship and congregational prayers to be able to make the most out of this month,” Hammaji added.
Original news source Credit: gulfnews.com