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Muslims with diabetes who are choosing

to fast during Ramadan are being urged

to 'stay safe' by a national awareness

campaign. Ramadan started in mid-June

and continues for around 30 days, with

Muslims fasting between sunrise and

sunset, meaning they are allowed no food

or drink at all. Fasting can lead to a much

higher risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood

sugar) and dehydration, as well as an

increased chance of high glucose levels

at the pre-dawn meal known as Suhoor

and the evening meal called Iftar when the

fast is ended.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre -

an international centre of excellence

in diabetes research, education and

innovation led by Professors Kamlesh

Khunti and Melanie Davies - has launched

the Safer Ramadan Campaign to spread

information, knowledge and education.

The campaign is encouraging people with

diabetes to take advantage of advice and

support to enjoy the holy month safely.

Professor Khunti says, "Ramadan is

one of the most important periods for a

practising Muslim but if you have diabetes

then extra consideration and planning are

needed to avoid unwanted complications

of the condition. As whole families and

communities have a different lifestyle

during Ramadan, even people who

choose not to fast or are exempt from

fasting need to be safety conscious."

The 'A Safer Ramadan Toolkit' is

available for any health organisation

to purchase. It contains community

awareness resources, healthcare

professional training and patient education

sessions to help raise awareness in local

communities of the need to fast safely

with Type 2 diabetes during Ramadan.

To download the 'Looking After

Diabetes During Ramadan' leaflet from

LDC click HERE.

Health bosses need to ensure people with diabetes have access to self-management

education to avoid the condition's possible complications and a "looming NHS crises",

a leading researcher in diabetes education has said.

Dr Marian Carey, of the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), made the comments in

response to new figures published in June by Diabetes UK that showed the number of

people with diabetes in the UK having reached an all-time high of 3.9 million, primarily

due to a rise in Type 2 diabetes. The charity has said the NHS needs to ensure people

have access to education to enable them to manage the condition well to avoid

devastating health complications.

Dr Carey helped found DESMOND, the NHS education course for Type 2 diabetes,

and is the Director of the Structured Education Research Portfolio at the LDC. She

says, "With diabetes prevalence continuing to rise, the NHS faces a major challenge.

Self-management education programmes that meet the national quality standards are

a proven way of supporting people to self-care in diabetes. We believe this kind of

diabetes education is key to preventing this looming NHS crisis and the misery of the

complications of the condition. People with diabetes have a demanding condition to

manage, yet on average they get to share this with a healthcare professional for only an

hour a year. One hour of support out of a total of 8,766 hours in a year, jhat's 525,900

minutes that a person has to draw on their own resources to manage their condition.

They get just one hour to help them manage a condition which, if neglected, could lead

to serious health complications."

In March, a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes found poor

delivery of diabetes education was leading to devastating complications and huge costs

to the NHS. The report titled 'Taking control: Supporting people with diabetes' also

found only 16% of people newly diagnosed with diabetes are offered access to a formal


DESMOND is an NHS programme which teaches people with Type 2 diabetes how

to manage their condition and is delivered by more than 90 NHS trusts.



The following readers won

a pack of 12 sachets of

GSF Syrup, kindly donated

by Diabetes Express:

Rhona Hughes, Lorna

Dyter, Raj Dave.



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