Living with Diabetes in India is a skill one learns to master with frequent festivities and exchange of sweets along with occasion based fasting periods like Ramadan, Navratri or even individual days of fasting depending on faith and religion. Maintaining healthy blood glucose levels demands proactive approach amidst all the delicacies being served at every Indian occasion.
Fasting is considered to be a crucial part of one’s belief in God and is believed to purify yourself. Even diabetics tend to fast, forgetting they need extra care to ensure their blood glucose remains under control. Let us see how blood sugar level can be maintained easily during fasting –
Changes that occur in body during fasting
Studies suggest that our bodies enter fasting mode eight-ten hours post a meal. Initially, it utilizes the stored source of glucose and then breaks down body fats to use up the energy. Usage of body fats may lead to weight reduction which in turn reduces cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This helps in controlling blood sugar spikes as well.
Although fasting changes your eating pattern drastically, it becomes even more important to take a balanced diet consisting of nutritious food items from each food group and avoid eating excessively. Being a diabetic and fasting requires you to have complex carbs and foods with low glycemic index. Diabetes care requires equal attention towards the time you break your fast. Avoid sugary and fatty foods such as Indian sweets, cakes, samosas and puris, as sudden calorie and fat load after a fast can make you gain weight and even raise your blood sugar levels.
Management of diabetes when you are fasting must be guided by your personalized diabetes educator so that you don’t experience discomfort and are aware of all the risks involved. It is important to keep a strict regular check on your blood sugar level. During fasting, your blood sugars may drastically change and hence constant monitoring will help you take the necessary action.
Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water during your fasting time.
It is very unlikely that your blood glucose level spikes up following a meal after few hours of fasting. And even if it happens, the spikes are not very high. As far as fasting for a month is concerned, you are given medications before the evening meal (in the case of Ramadan, it is Iftar) which help you to control the spike and maintain the blood glucose in normal range.
Avoid self-medication at all costs as it can do more harm than expected. Your does must be adjusted only by the doctor before you begin your fast.