HYDERABAD - Prof Dr Bekha Ram has urged people with diabetes to take extra care of their blood glucose levels to avoid health problems during the holy month of Ramazan.

Talking to the media here on Friday, the health expert said that many people with diabetes are eager to fast during Ramazan, but they must consult their doctor before fasting. Treating physicians would assess the ability of their patients to fast and advice accordingly, he added. He suggested patients must not place themselves at risk as the decision to fast or not should be based on medical advice.

Dr Bekha Ram, who is president of the District Medical Research Centre, highlighted the fact that patients can face serious incidences of sharp increase or decrease in blood sugar level while fasting, as well as other problems like drop in the water level of the body. He said that the danger increased manifold in the case of diabetic children, pregnant women and diabetic heart and kidney patients. He also warned that frequent changes in blood sugar level could lead to permanent complications.

He observed that fasting slows down the metabolism so the body starts consuming calories and it also lowers blood glucose and systolic blood pressure. Thus, he advised patients to improve their nutritional status during fasting to prevent complications. He suggested the patients to consult their nutritionist before fasting to make adjustments to diet and consult the physician for adjusting their insulin and medication doses. He said patients do not always fully understand the implications of diabetes and the impact that fasting could have on their health as they do not seek timely medical advice.