If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Diabetes & Ramadan

This year, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin on May 26th. That is just over two weeks away.  The majority of the 1.57million Muslims of the world fast that month from sunrise to sunset.

According to Dr. Osama Hamdy, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and senior adult endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center, “94% of the 150 million Muslim patients with diabetes choose to fast for at least 15 days of that month” or longer.

If you are a diabetic, and plan to fast for Ramadan, please visit your endocrinologist before Ramadan begins to discuss how to manage your blood sugars during this time – especially if you are new to diabetes.

If you are a doctor, and are looking for guidelines, there is now an official Diabetes and Ramadan International Alliance of doctors and imams that created guidelines for fasting. Start here. The medical advice and medical evidence is derived from doctors and studies in Muslim countries.

Please consider these guidelines and an open dialogue with your patients. I have met diabetics who immediately disregarded anything their doctor said immediately after the phrase “you cannot fast”.

While it may be deemed clinically risky for them to fast, it is important to have an open discussion about the risks involved, and what, if anything, they can do to fulfill this religious obligation that is very important for them.

In an article with Endocrine Today, Dr. Hamdy is quoted as saying that “Physicians should face the reality and not assume that their patients will not fast and try to adapt as much as they can to this scenario.”

For patients, please speak with your qualified doctor who understands diabetes. Fasting can be dangerous for your body if you are diabetic. According to Dr. Hamdy, fasting is not advised if you suffer from severe hypoglycemia, are unaware of hypoglycemia or have severe hyperglycemia within the 3 months leading up to Ramadan. If you are pregnant or have gestational diabetes, have Type 1, or have a chronic kidney disease.

At Diapoint, we know that every diabetic is different. What works for one diabetic will not work for everyone. What we do endorse is that you make an appointment with your doctor before Ramadan begins to plan how to best manage your diabetes during this time.

Ramadan Kareem!

For more information about the interview with Dr. Osama Hamdy, please visit this article


  1. Interesting, I have always wondered how this works out. Thank you for the educational links.

    1. It is indeed interesting, and not something I really thought about until I started attending medical conferences in this region. Fortunately, there are more studies about it and more doctors who are knowledgable about it.

  2. Such great advice Pam. Such an important issue to raise - how to safely manage your diabetes while still observing Ramadan - so vital to have the support and access those guidelines!

    1. Thank you Claire! And yes, now with more doctors understanding the importance of Ramadan outside of this region, they can provide more support to patients. I learned about it a day later, but one hospital in this region was offering free consultation for patients with their diabetes team and a local imam - which I think is fantastic and will hopefully happen more often in the weeks leading up to Ramadan.