People with diabetes continue to benefit from Qatar Diabetes Association’s 15-year-old Ramadan programme, providing them with the needed information and advice on “how to fast safely during the holy month”.
The Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, launched the programme ahead of Ramadan, arranging at least three workshops for male and female patients, as well as for general practitioners (GPs), aimed at raising public awareness.
“We continue to educate them (diabetics) on how to fast for one month,” QDA executive director Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq told Gulf Times
He noted that one of the workshops also involved GPs in health centres and other private clinics in Qatar.
QDA executive director Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq has stressed the importance of exercise and balanced diet for people with diabetes.
QDA held open discussions with the consultants from the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and showed them the new practical guidelines for Ramadan, according to Dr al-Hamaq.
“The guidelines, published in English, are based on studies, and being implemented all over the Islamic countries, in Europe and also in the US,” he said.
Part of the guidelines includes categorising patients (who can fast or not) into three: the high risk, low risk, and also the middle risk.
In collaboration with HMC and Primary Health Care, QDA has also created hotlines (4454-7311, 5527-4919, and 5598-1331) where residents can call from 8am to 1pm and from 8pm to 11pm.
Around 30 doctors are ready to speak with callers this Ramadan.
Patients can call and ask questions concerning fasting, treatment and management of their conditions.
“Our office is open for diabetics in the morning as well as in the evening after the breaking of the fast,” al-Hamaq said.“The gym is also open in the evening during Ramadan and they can do some exercise.”
An average of 25 to 45 patients use a number of facilities at the QDA gym from 8pm until midnight this Ramadan, it is learnt.
“Our gym trainer has to check the blood sugar of the patients before they are allowed to exercise, if it is less than 70, they will not be allowed until the sugar comes to normal,” al-Hamaq said.
“If it is high, he has to stop and take a test, if it is lower than 200 they will allow him to do the exercise.
“We also do not recommend our patients to do exercise before Iftar, it is very dangerous.
Maybe the blood sugar level will plummet,” he added.
Ramadan is also an opportunity for people with diabetes to reduce weight and totally stop smoking, he noted. “From our experience, a lot of people come to us and then take their weight. After Ramadan, they see a big difference, which is good for them.”
Citing the importance of fasting and exercise, al-Hamaq believes there is a big chance for smokers to avoid and stop their habit.
“We do not recommend smoking because it is a factor to cause some diabetes complications,” he stressed.
Al-Hamaq urged people with diabetes to exercise regularly and stick to high-fibre and balanced diet to stay healthy.
Hotlines for residents
The Qatar Diabetes Association has created hotlines (4454-7311, 5527-4919, and 5598-1331) where residents can call from 8am to 1pm and from 8pm to 11pm.