Diabetes patients should aim to do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise a day during the Holy Month of Ramadan, according to Professor Abdul Badi Abou Samra, Chairman of Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation and Director of the Qatar Metabolic Institute.

However, diabetics should take care to avoid exerting too much physical effort during the fasting period, particularly during the two hours before Iftar.

Prof Abou Samra said:

Ideally, extensive physical activity should only take place after Iftar or before Suhoor, not during fasting. Patients should also ensure they are having enough sleep at night.’

‘They should avoid long exposure to sunlight and intense heat. Fluid intake, especially water, is essential before and during exercise to offset fluids lost by sweating and prevent dehydration which may cause kidney injury. To prevent hypoglycaemia during exercise, it is important to make sure that the blood glucose level before taking part in exercise is not less than 100 mg/dl. No exercise should take place if the blood glucose level is too high (300 mg/dl); as high sugar causes excessive loss of water in urine which leads to dehydration. It is also important to check blood glucose levels after exercise to avoid hypoglycaemia.’

He said patients are advised to follow a daily physical activity programme of moderate level exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, such as walking, swimming, cycling or similar activities.

Prof Abou Samra said:

Overweight patients are encouraged to increase this to one hour a day.’

Diabetic patients planning to perform Umrah during Ramadan should undertake the necessary measures to prevent any adverse effects on their health.

Prof Abou Samra added:

In the first instance, they should check with their physician before undertaking Umrah. Once given the all-clear, they should of course obtain any necessary vaccinations and ensure they have sufficient quantities of medicine, in addition to a blood sugar monitoring device.’

Other measures Prof Abou Samra suggests include:

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sun and try to perform Umrah at night
  • Drink enough liquids to offset continually moving during Umrah
  • Perform Umrah with a companion who is aware of your medical condition
  • Have medications readily available in case ofhypoglycaemia
  • Cease any activity and check with a doctor if you feel lethargic

For more information, visit hamad.qa 

Ramadan Guide 2016