7 October 2013

IF you’re a diabetic and planning to fast during Ramadan, you probably would like to download the Ramadan, Diabetes And Me app to help monitor your blood sugar level.

Developed by local company MSD Malaysia for type 2 diabetes patients, this free mobile app offers a blood sugar tracker that allows easy reporting of glucose levels to a healthcare practitioner. It also includes recommendations for blood sugar levels at which fasting should cease due to risk of low blood sugar. Its other key features are questions for healthcare professionals before the start of fasting, including diet and possible treatment.

MSD managing director Annie Chin said the app helps diabetics to better manage their health as their eating patterns change during Ramadan.

“Diabetes patients are getting younger nowadays and more adults as young as 30 are diagnosed with it. As more and more people have mobile devices, we hope to reach out to as many diabetics as possible,” she said.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and affects around 90 per cent of all patients worldwide. Recent research shows that during Ramadan, more people with Type 2 diabetics  showed severely low blood sugar, with a 7.5-fold increase in the incidence of severe hypoglycaemia.

UKM senior consultant endocrinologist Prof Dr Nor Azmi Kamaruddin said Type 2 diabetic patients who plan to fast are strongly advised to undergo a pre-Ramadan medical assessment.

“Being able to record sugar levels throughout the day will allow physicians to better support diabetic patients and ensure they don’t put themselves at risk of hypoglycaemia or other complications,” he said.

Symptoms of hypoglycaemia may range from mild to severe and may include sweating, headache, confusion, dizziness, anxiety and heart palpitations.

The Ramadan, Diabetes And Me app also includes information such as prayer, sunrise and sunset times based on the user’s location and a built-in compass for prayer direction.

It is currently available only on the iOS platform and can be downloaded at the Apple App Store for free.

MSD has also produced an information kit (booklet) which is available at all Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia offices, most clinics, hospitals and pharmacies.

By Izwan Ismail 

This article was first published in www.nst.com.my on 8 July 2013.