When you’re suffering from diabetes while fasting, it may be a little tricky to stick with your dietary plan, whether it’s for religious or medical reasons. Unlike other people, a change in your blood sugar levels as a diabetic can seriously jeopardize your health and put you in the hospital.
Does that mean you should be completely giving up on your fasting plans if you’re suffering from diabetes? Well, don’t accept defeat just yet, as there are still ways to safely control and manage your medical condition during a fast. Here are just some of the ways that you can go on about doing that.
1. Consult Your Doctors Before Fasting
Just like any other major decision that concerns your health, it’s always best to consult a medical expert about fasting as a diabetic before proceeding. To fast while suffering from diabetes can lead to many potential complications, and should be clarified with a doctor before proceeding to ensure that you’re fit enough to commit.
Ask your doctor if your diabetes condition is mild enough to risk fasting. Usually non-medicated diabetics are often allowed to fast without worry, as they may not suffer from drastic fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. Diabetics who are pregnant, doing heavy labour or suffering from other complications are often advised against fasting.
2. Eat Balanced Dietary Meals
When you decide to fast as a diabetic, the type of food which you consume becomes much more important in terms of nutritional value. After all, your body will be entirely dependent on the limited meals that you’ll have during the fasting period. Hence, it’s best to wisely plan and prepare on what you’ll be eating for the next few weeks.
As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable to include plenty of fiber and complex carbohydrates in your pre- and post-fasting meals. These nutrients are great for limited meals as they take a long time to digest and are more filling. Not only that, they’re also perfect for diabetics looking to manage their blood sugar levels as the post-meal sugar spikes are slower compared to other nutrients.
3. Stick To Your Medications
Fasting may exempt you from a variety of things, but as a diabetic, it’s always safe to check if your insulin prescription can be included in that list. Managing your blood sugar levels should always take priority over anything else for a diabetic, as even a slight disruption may cause severe repercussions to your well-being.
Your doctor would be the best person to seek advice on your medication. Find out if you’d be able to completely skip or adjust the amount of insulin dosages that you take during the fasting period. While most insulin-dependent diabetics are able to hold off from their prescription for a limited time with proper blood sugar management, a few, such as those suffering from Type-1 diabetes, may risk complications if they stop their insulin dosage.
4. Constantly Monitor Your Blood Sugar
Keeping a regular track of your blood sugar levels can provide you with an overall picture of your diabetic condition during the fasting period and prevent unnecessary health emergencies before they happen. The results from monitoring your blood sugar levels will tell you on how your body is coping with the lack of sustenance, and how you can adjust your lifestyle to compensate for it.
This habit can be especially useful for those who are at risk of suffering from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Especially during fasting, where the body is limited in terms of nutritional intake, noticing that your blood sugar going below the normal levels can alert you into treating it before the condition worsens.
5. Know When To Break The Fast
If you start to feel regularly weak, light-headed, or not at all well during the fast as a diabetic, it may be best to call it quits and not force yourself to stick with the schedule. Those symptoms might be your body’s way of telling you that it’s unable to cope with the change of dietary intake. Hence, it’s often best to just listen and break your fast before it further worsens your well-being.
A common guideline is to stop fasting when your blood sugar levels hit less than 70mg/dL, a dangerously low mark and a glaring sign of low blood sugar. It’s also common to break your fast after going past 300mg/dL, where you may require an insulin dosage to bring your blood sugar levels down to normal levels again.
Has this article given you ideas in managing your diabetic condition for the next fasting plan? There’s no need to revamp your dietary schedule from scratch, just as long as you stick to your doctor’s advice and prevent yourself from pushing your body over the limit, you’ll be able to complete your fast without any negative outcomes.
And should you need extra guidance on the types of meals to prepare, we have nutritionists right here in CaregiverAsia that are more than willing to plan out your eating schedule and ensure that you’re well nourished for the duration of your fasting period. Get in touch with one here!
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