Yet still eager to fast?
Until recently you were out of luck.
Fasting safely as option for Muslims with Diabetes is something new and still developing.
I first noticed the flyer pictured above pinned to a bulletin board the moment I first entered the London Muslim Mosque. Ever since, I’ve kept seeing the flyer at various Muslim points of interest I’ve visited.
Earlier today, I popped into the clinic to learn more than what was already on the poster.
Dr. Bakeer wasn’t in the office during my unannounced visit. However her staff were present and were very gracious in sharing as much about her program as possible in the short time we had available.
This program began when Dr. Bakeer, then a third year resident, first arrived at St. Joseph’s Primary Care Diabetes Support Program or PCDSP for short.
She was fasting, and wondered how Muslims with Diabetes might be able to safely fast?
Her answer to her own initial question is still developing, but it’s quite inspiring how much thought has gone into the approach thus far.
Following a small pilot program last Ramadan in 2012 with a number of their existing Muslim Patients, this is the first full year the PCDSP Ramadan Service is available to a wider public.
No referral is needed to be accepted in the program. And that’s actually very important nowadays, because not everyone has a family doctor. In fact, St Joseph’s will help one get their own Family Doctor as required. That’s the first benefit.
Another benefit is that the program will look at each patient regardless of which type of diabetes they may have. Insulin or non-insulin, if there is a safe way for a diabetic person to fast, they will help figure that out on a case by case basis.
Because Dr. Bakeer wasn’t available and I’m not in the business of dispensing medical advice, that’s as much as I can say about the specifics of the regimen.
But who are we kidding?
That strong desire to Fast during Ramadan in the observant Muslim, even those who have diabetes, no matter how hard it is, is hard to resist.
Many Muslims with Diabetes who decide to fast against better judgment forgo checking their insulin levels through the day, lest they face the reality that they suddenly have either very high or very low blood sugar. This is akin to the rest of us not looking at the true credit card balance when the statement arrives and blindly paying the minimum payment.
Any number of Muslims with Diabetes never even think to alter how they manage their diabetes during Ramadan. Dehydration may kick in and well… Oops!
For those of you out there Fasting with Diabetes but without planning beforehand, InshAllah, the following 3 page PDF will be a starting point:
The Ramadan program at PCDSP is off to a very encouraging start. So far, about a dozen Muslims with diabetes have become involved in the PCDSP mostly through word of mouth. And because Ramadan has already started, any new inquiries will be promptly attended to.
There are an estimated 3,000 Muslims in the London area managing Diabetes, and who knows how many of them choose to fast. I imagine it ain’t that much different in Muslim Communities the World over. Fortunately in London, they have help.
There has been outreach with Dr. Bakeer speaking at the London Muslim Mosque which literally is down the road.
Brochures describing the Ramadan Service have been published in Farsi, Arabic and Punjabi plus other languages.
And of course, their postering campaign is working, as I keep seeing the posters pasted and pinned all over the place.
Lastly, their program can be said to be open source.
Any physician or doctor in private practice with Muslim Diabetic Patients are able to learn from St. Joseph’s on implementing a similar program.
With Diabetes rising in the general population as a whole and within the Muslim Population specifically, this program, and if you will forgive me the pun, truly needs to go viral.
Any Doctors out there with Muslim Diabetic Patients who’ve always wanted to safely fast during Ramadan, really should take St Joseph’s up on their offer of learning about their program.
Individual Muslims with Diabetes in the London, Ontario area can reach Dr. Bakeer’s office at 519.646.6000 ext 67268.
Their facility is located at 346 Platt’s Lane in London.
No Referral Needed.