Skip to main content
Shared experience

Managing blood glucose levels during Ramadan

Hamza shares his experiences of fasting when you have type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetic Hamza outside at an event wearing a tuxedo jacket and bow tie

Hamza Yousaf, a 24-year-old Paralegal from Leeds, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of five, talks about how he manages the condition during Ramadan.

Managing type 1 diabetes during Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims from all corners of the earth fast between sunrise and sunset.

The daily routine for a Muslim during Ramadan consists of waking up before sunrise and eating, then consuming no food or water all day until eating again after sunset.

This year Ramadan is taking place in April and May, and as a result of the longer days the time period for the fasting can be more than a staggering 17 hours a day. I currently work between 9am and 5pm.

For someone with type 1 diabetes who is a Muslim, this is where the control of my diabetes really gets tested.

So, how do I manage my type 1 diabetes during Ramadan? Well, at sunrise, when the fast closes, I try to eat a slow-releasing carbohydrate in order to give my blood glucose levels the best chance of remaining stable throughout the day.

However, as you will probably already know, blood glucose levels when you have type 1 diabetes can be unpredictable at times, so this does not always work.

So, whenever I have a hypo in Ramadan (and I have had a few) I break my fast and try to keep one the next day, with no hard feelings as scholars have argued that it is permissible to break your fast in these circumstances.

I also like to keep my blood glucose levels slightly on the high side in Ramadan and then around five hours before the fast opens I take a correction dose of insulin to ensure my blood glucose levels are stable.

 

More shared experiences

Read more
Mia-Imani wearing a white halter neck prom dress, smiling for the photo and wearing a glucose sensor on her upper arm.
Shared experience

"I'm not as scared to wear my sensor out."

Mia-Imani Williams was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in September 2022. We spoke to 11-year-old Mia-Imani about diagnosis, wearing her glucose sensor to prom and the support she gets from her family and friends.

Read more
A close up photo of Billy Cole smiling.
Shared experience

A needle phobia doesn’t need to hold you back

When needle-phobic Billy Cole was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 56, trying to finger prick and inject was consuming his whole life. Here, the former British Commonwealth-winning athlete shares how he overcame his phobias and gives insight to others dealing with similar fears.

Read more
Temi Olonisakin smiling at the camera over her shoulder with her continuous glucose monitor visible.
Shared experience

What would I do in a zombie apocalypse?

Temi Olonisakin has been living with type 1 for 12 years. A doctor herself, she shares what she’s learned about managing type 1 diabetes and her emotional wellbeing.  

Read more
A photo of Dr Chloe Rackham wearing a labcoat.

"I understand how tough it can be living with type 1 and this motivates me to work towards a cure"

Dr Chloe Rackham was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 13 and is now running a JDRF-funded lab at the University of Exeter. Chloe tells us how having type 1 helps motivate her and how she switches off from her type 1.

Connect with us on social