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Ramadan 2024

How is Ramadan celebrated?

Most Muslims fast between dawn and sunset. Fasting allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith. It is thought to teach self-discipline and reminds them of the suffering of the poor. However, children, pregnant women, elderly people and those who are ill or travelling don’t have to fast.

During Ramadan, it is common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before dawn and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.

Keeping patients with diabetes healthy during Ramadan

Mohammed Satar, GP Partner in Yorkshire, and Leisa Batkin, Locality Facilitator at Leeds GP Confederation recently ran a series of ‘Diabetes and Safer Ramadan’ events. They explain how their events are helping people with diabetes to reduce the risks of becoming ill during Ramadan if they decide to fast, as well as highlighting the dangers of fasting for people with diabetes.

The Qur’an requires Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan from sunrise to sunset. Whilst there are exceptions to this – one of them being that people who are ill or have medical conditions do not have to fast, including people with diabetes – ultimately, it is a personal choice whether or not to fast.

For the next few years, Ramadan in the UK is in the late spring months and the lengths of fasts are long. Long fasts put a person with diabetes at higher risk of hypoglycaemia and dehydration.

For more information please visit: NHS England » Keeping patients with diabetes healthy during Ramadan

Supporting you to have a healthy Ramadan

Do you take prescribed medicines? 

Remember to continue to take prescribed medicines during Ramadan, but do check with your GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times you take them changed.  

Do you have diabetes? 

If you have diabetes and want to fast you should speak to your GP or diabetes nurse about the safest way to do this. There is an exemption for people with diabetes, especially if for those on insulin or who have any medical complications.

Attending medical appointments

If you have a medical appointment booked during Ramadan, it is very important that you attend. If you need to adjust the time of your appointment, please contact the relevant healthcare organisation to do so.

It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Those with increased risk of contracting Covid-19 should consider alternative options. These include those who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly.  

What to do if you become unwell while fasting

The British Islamic Medical Association advises that if you become unwell during Ramadan, you should stop fasting and seek medical advice. You can do this by calling us on 0116 215 1105 visiting 111.nhs.uk or our using our practice website or if you don’t have access to the internet, by calling 111 or us directly.