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Hadassah Provides Tips on Fasting for Diabetics
5-May-2008
Knowing that fasting on religious holidays poses specific health risks for diabetics, Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus Pediatrician Dr. David Zangen and his colleagues decided to study whether prolonged fasting--over 25 hours--is safe for individuals with Type I diabetes.  They found that it can be, if the insulin dosage is lowered as needed, and they published the results in the prestigious medical journal, Diabetic Medicine, which led to requests for more information from Jews and Muslims around the world. 
 
Fifty-six adolescent diabetics, who had previously refrained from fasting because of their medical condition, participated in the study.  While they fasted, the physicians reduced their total insulin dosage by 50-75 percent. All were advised to check their blood glucose levels every 2.5 hours and given strict recommendations to end their fasts if their readings reached unsafe levels.  Sixty-seven percent (37 participants) were able to fast successfully without any serious side effects. 
 

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