“Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.” (Joel 1:14)
In the July issue of Today's Dietitian, we published an article titled “Prayer and Fasting With Diabetes”. If you're a person of faith who has diabetes or know someone of faith with the disease, this article is a must-read.
The American Diabetes Association reports that more than 23 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Seventy-nine million have prediabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, which place them at high risk for developing the disease later in life. And each year, there are now 1.5 million people newly diagnosed with diabetes. African Americans are disproportionately affected by this disease and suffer more complications, such as blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, and heart disease, than other races.
Given these statistics, you can surmise there are many people of faith with diabetes who set aside time to commune with God while abstaining from food, drink, or both. But the question is can they fast safely without putting their health at risk?
In this article, we discuss that fasting is practiced by the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths and how these practices differ from one another. We review how fasting can impact the health of those with diabetes and provide strategies for fasting safely. Please let me know your thoughts about the article. If you have diabetes or know someone who has the disease and fasts safely, I'd like to hear about your experiences and theirs. I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did in assigning and editing it.