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What is Diabetes?

Olympic hero to open Diabetes Centre in Leicester

Five-time Olympic gold medallist rower, Sir Steve Redgrave, will officially open the new Leicester Diabetes Centre later today.

Five-time Olympic gold medallist rower, Sir Steve Redgrave Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

The multi-million pound facility at Leicester General Hospital is one of the largest diabetes centres in Europe. The centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, the University of Leicester and the local community.

A view of the main entrance at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester Credit: Rui Vieira/PA

Professor Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine and Co-Director of the Centre said, "The focus of the Leicester Diabetes Centre's research is to improve outcomes and the health of people with diabetes and to stop those at high risk of type 2 diabetes developing it at all."

One of the centres aims will be on finding new ways of identifying people at high risk of diabetes and developing effective interventions to stop, slow and treat the condition.

Midlands diabetes rates some of the highest in England

Midlands cities have some of the highest rates of diabetes in England, according to new research.

Just under 10% of people aged over 16 have diabetes in Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton. One in ten people in Leicester have diabetes, making it one of the top ten places in the country for having high rates of the condition.


Diabetic Muslims told to seek GP advice while fasting

Muslims in the Midlands who have diabetes are advised to speak to their GP if they decide to fast during Ramadan.

The British Medical Journal has found in a recent study that the change in the eating patterns of Muslims during Ramadan significantly increases the risk of blood sugar problems.

Dr Ather Hussain said: “Islam is very clear, that if a person feels that their illness will prolong or become more severe as a result of fasting, then he or she is exempt from that, and they can fast at a later date. So it is best to get advice from their local GP.”

Ramadan advice for diabetic Muslims in the Midlands

Diabetes UK has offered advice to practicing Muslims living with diabetes, who have decided to fast for Ramadan.

  • If you are taking insulin, you will require less insulin before the start of the fast
  • The type of insulin may also need changing from your usual type
  • Pre-mixed insulin is not recommended during fasting
  • Check your blood glucose levels more often than you normally would
  • When you break the fast, have only small quantities food, and avoid only eating sweet or fatty foods
  • Try to eat just before sunrise, when you commence the next day’s fast
  • Before starting the fast, you should include more slowly absorbed food (low GI), such as rice, pitta bread and dhal, in your meal, along with fruit and vegetables
  • At the end of fasting you should drink plenty of sugar-free and decaffeinated fluids to avoid being dehydrated.

Muslim children do not need to fast until they get to their teens.

Concerns for diabetic Muslims during Ramadan

Medical professionals are warning diabetic Muslims about the concerns of fasting from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.

The main problem for diabetics is the onset of hypoglycaemia - low sugar levels, and hyperglycaemia – high sugar levels Credit: Ryan Remiorz/Press Association Images

Diabetes UK is advising practicing Muslims to consult their GP if they decide to fast.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that the change in eating patterns during Ramadan increased the risk of severe hyperglycaemia significantly.

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