A Study of the Characteristic Changes in Diabetes Type II patients during Fasting in Ramadan in the West Bank-A Descriptive Analytic Study

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Raya Rateb Sinnokrot
Abeer Shaji Yaseen
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Objectives: 86% of diabetic patients fast Ramadan. This study is the first in Palestine to assess the generally little investigated effects of fasting on the different characteristics of type II diabetic (T2DM) patients and compare them with the afterRamadan period. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on T2DM patients in three diabetic clinics in Nablus district; Al-Makhfiya, Aseera and Howwara. Standardized questionnaire-based interviews were made over two periods; the first one was two weeks after Ramadan in 10th August 2014 and lasted for four weeks and the second period took place two months after the first data collection process, beginning in November 2014 till January 2015. Questions included socio-demographic data, disease duration, physical activity, treatment regimen and acute complications in the fasting and non-fasting statuses. Results :Participants (n = 375) were a mean age of 59 years. While one third had hypoglycemic episodes during and after Ramadan, hyperglycemic episodes registered significantly higher rates after Ramadan (P = 0.001). No effect of physical activity level on hypoglycemic episodes during fasting was observed (P = 0.103) and the number of participants taking insulin was relatively the same in both periods. Conclusion: The large number of T2DM patients fasting Ramadan presents a challenge to their physicians. Thus, the study recommends maintaining Ramadanfocused patient education in diabetes clinics. Moreover, maintaining the usual physical activities during Ramadan with avoidance of vigorous exercise is advised. Further studies are needed to broaden understanding of fasting impact on diabetic patients’ life.