Diabetic patients, who want to fast during the month of Ramadan, should plan at least three months in advance, consulting their respective doctors for guidelines to avoid probable complications, said doctors.
"Certain modifications, such as change of medicine, schedule of medicine intake and food habits, take place during Ramadan. So, it is essential to properly educate patients about these changes," said Professor Faruque Pathan, professor of Endocrinology, Birdem General Hospital, in a scientific session and workshop on diabetes management on Sunday.
The Bangladesh Endocrine Society (BES) and its scientific partner, Sanofi Bangladesh, a subsidiary of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited, organised the programme to help ensure safe and healthy fasting during the month of fasting.
Doctors said due to the metabolic system of diabetic patients, people with diabetes are at particular risk of complications from marked changes in food and liquid intake during fasting.
Dr SM Ashrafuzzaman, professor of Endocrinology, Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital and Research Institute, and president of BES, said, "Medication is not the only solution for diabetes treatment. For optimum results, a patient needs to balance lifestyle and treatment protocol."
"Keeping that in mind, BES has been guiding physicians to establish a risk-free and well-controlled diabetes management regime for their patients. This year, it will be advanced even further," he added.
To mitigate the health risk of patients wishing to fast during Ramadan, the International Diabetes Federation in association with the Diabetes and Ramadan International Alliance has launched a guideline for health care professionals to educate their patients about the management of diabetes during Ramadan.
Under this campaign, more than 300 allied doctors will keep records of patients' blood glucose, by monitoring in different phases during the month, and will guide them on their diabetes management regime.
BES will provide all supporting materials, such as a daily blood glucose monitoring book, diet chart and exercise chart, along with medication adjustment to keep diabetics safe during fasting. Based on patient data, BES will later formulate a specific evidence-based guideline for Bangladesh.