Belgium: 70% of diabetics fast on Ramadan
70% of Muslims with diabetes fast on Ramadan. By not eating between sunrise and sunset, their sugar management is profoundly disturbed. This according to a study by Guven Yildiz, a doctor in Antwerp, helped by Dirk Avonts as doctor-researcher linked to the universities of Antwerp and Ghent.
Worse, of the 87 Muslim diabetics questioned, 20% changed or stopped taking their medication, and half changed their insulin schedule on their own, without medical advise. They therefore risk serious developments.
The Koran provides an exception for Muslims with diabetics: due to their illness they are exempt from fasting. Why do they fast en-masse then?
Dirk Avonts: Many Western doctors think it's flatly irresponsible. We advise against it, while the Ramadan for Muslims, also the diabetics among them, is very fundamental.
All over the world diabetics patients fast on Ramadan en-masse. "There are treatment schedules which make it possible also for diabetes patients to fast, but owning to our lack of cultural empathy, well organized and evaluated informative programs for this group are lacking.
The researchers support targeted medical Ramadan advise for diabetics, particularly those who are dependent on insulin injections. "Doctors should show more cultural competence," says Dirk Avonts, who compares it to doctors counseling people on how to run a marathon.
Source: Knack (Dutch)
See also: Belgium: Immigrants more susceptible to diabetes