Abuja (NAN) Dr Abdulrahim Abdulrasheed, a consultant family physician, Nisa Premier Hospital, Abuja, has advised diabetic patients to seek medical advice before fasting to avoid complications.
Abdulrasheed gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, diabetes mellitus commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period.
“Not eating when taking insulin or certain other diabetes medications can raise the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
“Pregnant women and people with a history of hypoglycaemia, ketoacidosis (a complication of very high blood glucose), or poor blood glucose control, are also considered as being at a very high risk.
“Anyone that is managing diabetic patients and is having low blood sugar is an indication of poor management,” Abdulrasheed said.
He said that high blood sugar could kill and be a cause of health problems over a long period of time, adding that low blood sugar could kill within minutes.
Abdulrasheed said that diabetic patients must ensure they take their medications as prescribed by their doctor, saying that the body perceives fasting as stress.
“If you are considering fasting, talk to your health care provider about a plan that takes medication, nutrition and hydration into account.
“Regularly monitoring blood glucose during fasting is key to avoiding health emergencies,’’ he said.
Abdulrasheed said that diabetic patients with abnormally high or low blood sugar are usually advised to avoid fasting.
He said for religious fasting that required abstinence from water, such as Ramadan, dehydration could raise the risk for serious complications among susceptible people, such as those with kidney or heart disease.
The medical expert said that it was important for diabetic patients to know when to quit.
Abdulrasheed said religious leaders tend to agree that fasting was not meant to create undue hardship or create a life-threatening situation for their members.
He said that finding as a deep meaningful spiritual experience could come from other sources beyond those that put the patients at risk.