Reviewed by Jim Young
Editors: Abdul Hamid Zargar, Sanjay Kalra
Published by Jaypee Brothers
It was only when I was part way through this book that I realised how the wording of the title so accurately reflects the thrust of the book. By that I mean that the title “Ramadan and Diabetes Care” emphasises the importance of Ramadan to the adherents of Islam, and how suitable diabetes care can make a positive contribution to the experience of fasting during Ramadan – whereas if the title was worded “Diabetes Care and Ramadan” it would have suggested that Ramadan was an inconvenient intrusion into diabetes care which is certainly not the theme of this book which tends towards a positive outlook on the effects of fasting even when there are possible negative sequelae that have to be mitigated.
Written by doctors, endocrinologists, and professors the book balances science with spirituality and whatever your concerns or questions about diabetes and fasting during Ramadan this book will answer them, and answer them in a positive and supportive way.
With Islam being the second largest religion worldwide, including millions of adherents with diabetes, the book addresses an important area in diabetes management. The increasing prevalence of diabetes and the concurrent inception of new and numerous pharmacological treatments which can induce both positive and negative effects during fasting, ensure that this book is a much needed and contemporary reference point. Indeed it is nice to have book that concentrates on fasting in its own right without distraction, and one would like to think that it would be a book of pertinence to the experiences of fasting for people with diabetes who are followers of other religions or belief systems.
Although the book is just over 200 pages the information is concise and easily assimilated and where necessary the structured text is supplemented by tables, diagrams, flow charts and information boxes, and the gentle blue pastel coloured headlines invite one in. It is well referenced and considers the endocrinology and pathophysiology of fasting, along with pharmacological and non-pharmacological aspects. The role of pre-fasting counselling by the physician is emphasised and it introduces the useful concept of risk stratification. The pharmacology of various medications is discussed along with effects, suitability and the pros and cons with regard to use during fasting in Ramadan. The information is bang up-to-date with a whole chapter dedicated to the incretins.
The book is upbeat about the manageability of diabetes during fasting and there are separate chapters devoted to Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and insulin. There are chapters on children and adolescents, women, the elderly, and the comorbidities are not neglected, all of which make for a comprehensive reference source and a fascinating read.