Tag Archive: diabetes

Muslims with type 2 diabetes needed for Ramadan fasting research

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Muslims with type 2 diabetes are being sought by researchers who want to find a safer way to fast during Ramadan.

Fasting is an important part of Islam and those who observe the holy month are required to refrain from eating between sunrise and sunset.

However, for those with diabetes there is a greater danger of dehydration and suffering from a condition called hypoglycaemia, which is caused when blood sugar levels drop too low.

Symptoms can vary, however severe hypos can sometimes lead to unconsciousness. People with diabetes are advised to avoid allowing their glucose levels to lower too much.

The research will be carried out at the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and is largely being funded by the company Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Professor Melanie Davies, who is the Director of the Leicester-Loughborough Diet BRU as well as a Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “During the summer season Ramadan can take place with the longest hours of daylight which has a greater impact and risk for people with diabetes who fast during this period. Although the Quran exempts “sick” people from the duty of fasting, many Muslims with diabetes do not consider themselves to be unwell and therefore participate.

“There is a lack of evidence available to help guide the management of people with diabetes who wish to observe Ramadan, but we want to change that, which is why we’re doing this study. In order to conduct our research, we want anyone over 18 who has established type 2 diabetes and is not on insulin to participate and help find answers for the future generations.”

One of the aims of this study is to determine the potential effects of fasting in people with diabetes on well-being and the management of this condition as well as lowering the risk of hypoglycaemia.

Participants will be asked to take an approved drug once a day before, during and after Ramadan. The research team want to prove the theory that the drug – which is already prescribed to some people with type 2 – provides better diabetes management whether someone is eating regularly or not.

They also want to look at how activity levels can affect the condition as there is very little research available which shows how exercise and fasting can affect diabetes.

During the trial some people will be asked to wear a device which will monitor their activity levels.

Charlotte Edwardson, who is a physical activity expert from the University of Leicester, said: “When it comes to exercise and fasting there are two school of thoughts. One of the theories is that praying during Ramadan can be quite physically demanding, which might have a significant impact on the person with type 2. However, if they’re not eating, there’s also the prospect that they’re lethargic so become less active.

“We want to use this study to find out more about how exercise or being active, when combined with a longer fasting period, can affect people with type 2 diabetes.”

As well as finances from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the investigator initiated study, is also receiving financial support from the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU), which is paying for the activity aspects of the trial.

The NIHR BRUs undertake translational clinical research in priority areas of high disease burden and clinical need.

The NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity BRU harnesses the power of experimental science to explore and develop ways to help prevent and treat chronic disease.

If you meet the criteria and would like to participate please contact Mo Radia on 0116 258 6439

A sweet success: Thousands raised for Diabetes charity

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FUNDRAISING: The Indian Muslim Welfare Society raised £4,000 for the Kirklees Mayor’s Appeal this year with the help of seven local mosques

FUNDRAISING: The Indian Muslim Welfare Society raised £4,000 for the Kirklees Mayor’s Appeal this year with the help of seven local mosques

Kirklees’ Indian Muslim Welfare Society hosted a charity dinner in aid of the Mayor’s appeal last weekend, which this year is raising funds for national charity Diabetes UK.  

Diabetes can be six times more likely to affect members of the South Asian community than the general population in the UK, with lifestyle and diets tipped as reasons behind this trend.

It affects an estimated 29,000 people in Kirklees with Type 2 being particularly high amongst the local South Asian community.

Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Paul Kane, was amongst the dignitaries at the Al-Hikmah Centre, Batley, on Saturday 5th December for an event that marked the community organisation’s continued support with the Mayor’s appeal.

During the evening, Krishna Sarda from Diabetes UK explained the causes of diabetes and how to manage it through a healthy diet. Krishna spoke of the importance of portion sizes and South Asian cuisine.

Chair of IMWS Mohamed Mulla said, “IMWS has a strong history of helping local causes including the Mayor’s appeal which dates back to our early years. But this year’s appeal has a very strong connection with our community.

“Within our community diabetes has been rampant and it’s important to highlight that in many cases it can be prevented.

“I hope the appeal we launched and the charity dinner will go towards building a greater awareness amongst the community.”

The Mayor of Kirklees Cllr Paul Kane said: “What a wonderful event and well organised, it was nice to see so many people there and to raise such an amount. My speech may have brought home to the attendees the seriousness of Diabetes suffering, although the funds raised were fantastic the awareness is incalculable and people need to know that Type 2 Diabetes is preventable in 95% of cases.

"I want to thank IMWS for hosting the event and making it a success.”

It’s not the first time IMWS have teamed up with a Mayor’s Appeal. The Society has a long history dating back to 1972, when with the help of the local Muslim community, £125 was raised and donated to the then Batley Mayor’s Appeal.

This time round IMWS launched an appeal through the seven affiliated local Mosques in Batley and a cheque of £4,000 raised through the appeal was presented to the Mayor on the night. Additional donations were also taken during the evening.

As well as enjoying the five course meal, guests enjoyed speeches by the Mayor, the IMWS and Krishna and were entertained to an evening of Gujarati Poetry with guests poets from Yorkshire and Lancashire taking part.

Diabetes UK is a leading charity and provides information, help and peer support so people with diabetes can manage their condition effectively. It is also one of the largest funders of Diabetes research in the UK.

Facing the silent killer

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HEALTH: Doctors who specialise in diabetes were in attendance to talk about the condition at an event in Bradford last week, (l-r) Dr Shiraz Haider, Dr Husnat Hamdani, Dr Salman Shahid

HEALTH: Doctors who specialise in diabetes were in attendance to talk about the condition at an event in Bradford last week, (l-r) Dr Shiraz Haider, Conservative candidate for Bradford East Iftikhar Ahmed, Dr Salman Shahid

Diabetes event raises awareness in ‘at risk’ communities

It is a statistic which ‘leaders have failed to address’ according to one doctor, as diabetes continues to prove to be a silent killer prevalent amongst South Asian communities every year.

In an event organised in Bradford last week, guest speakers and members of the public gathered to discuss the issues surrounding the condition and what can be done to tackle some shocking figures.

People in the demographic can be up to six times more likely to have diabetes than the general population with Pakistani women at even higher risk.

Amongst those speaking on the night was Dr Salman Shahid from Saudi Arabia, a specialist in health science diabetes.

As well as offering advice on the best ways to tackle the persistent issue, Dr Shahid emphasised the need to lead a ‘healthy life’ to combat the life-changing disease.

SPEECH: Dr Basharat Ali organised the event to help ‘build a better Bradford’

SPEECH: Basharat Ali organised the event to help ‘build a better Bradford’

He said: “Fifteen years of our lives are lost due to diabetes. There are literary thousands of people walking around with type 2 diabetes that are not aware of the condition they are in.

“It is an illness that has quietly destroyed lives and leads to other conditions which become the main factors of death, in other words lead to major problems such as: cardio-vascular issues, amputations, blindness, and kidney failure.

“Healthy living therefore needs to be put in place to ensure good health for yourself and your children.”

Others in attendance on the night included local GPs and people who had suffered from diabetes themselves, directly or indirectly, throughout their lives.

Dr Husnat Hamdani has seen the effect of the disease in Bradford in his role as a GP.

He added: “For the past several years, despite numerous attempts, our local councillors and MPs have failed to address this very real issue.

“Diabetes is only increasing in the ‘Bradford 3’ area and the public needs to be informed. Things that can help control diabetes, include stopping smoking, regular exercise and a healthy diet.”

The event was organised by Basharat Ali and held at the St John’s Centre, Fagley.

‘It’s a growing problem’

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If you have one, or a number of the conditions below, you are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes:

• Being from a South Asian background
• Have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30
• Have a close relative with condition
• Are over 40-years-old
• Have high cholesterol or blood pressure
• Your waist is over 37 inches (for men),  or 31.5 inches (for women)

Concerned pharmacist approaches Asian Express to discuss concerns surrounding diabetes and the South Asian community

With more than 2.5million people already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the UK, a Bradford pharmacist has been speaking out about the need to find the other ‘missing million’.

AWARENESS: Moahmmed Sharaz, who runs a pharmacist in East Bowling, Bradford, wants to see more people come forward and take advantage of free diabetes tests

AWARENESS: Moahmmed Sharaz, who runs a pharmacist in East Bowling, Bradford, wants to see more people come forward and take advantage of free diabetes tests

Mohammed Sharaz, who runs Lloyds Pharmacy on Coventry Street, East Bowling, is just one professional who has seen a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with the condition, especially from South Asian backgrounds.

People from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and neighbouring countries are statistically six times more likely to suffer from the condition than their European counterparts and Mr Sharaz believes it is a statistic which cannot be ignored.

“With so many people already diagnosed with the condition, the word is definitely beginning to spread, yet there are still so many undiagnosed cases out there,” he explained.

“People are beginning to come forward more often but there is still that fear factor of ‘what if I’m diagnosed?’ and then people instantly assume they will need to start self-injecting.

“This isn’t the case and we need to get rid of that idea. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, firstly we can try and control it through a diet, then if that doesn’t work, through tablets, and only as a last resort do we recommend injecting insulin.”

Type 2 diabetes is a long term health condition characterised by high levels of glucose in the blood, meaning there is too much sugar in the bloodstream and the body can’t get rid of it. Common symptoms include tiredness, increased frequency to urinate, blurred vision and dried eyes.

If undiagnosed, sufferers can develop serious problems, from heart and kidney disease to blindness.

A diet with high amounts of sugar, fatty food and carbohydrates, significantly increases the chances of somebody having the disease, whilst other likely risk factors include, having a high blood pressure and cholesterol, being over 40-years-old and having relatives with the condition.

As the condition continues to affect more people across the UK, Lloyds Pharmacy’s, such as the one Mr Sharaz runs, have begun to offer free Type 2 diabetes checks for everybody.

“By doing the tests for free, we hope to make more people aware about the condition,” Mr Sharaz said.

“We take a small blood test from your finger and check all the symptoms – it only takes between two and five minutes and you will get an immediate answer.

“Some people come in and go away really happy because they don’t have the condition despite having most of the symptoms whilst others are glad to be diagnosed early so there is a better chance to fight it.

“We are trying to find the missing million and hopefully by raising the awareness, we can do just that.”