Diabetes: doctor checks pulse of patient
Diabetes: doctor checks pulse of patientReuters

Israel  comes to a standstill on Yom Kippur. Just about every adult fasts, but not everyone fasts easily. For  those with type 2 diabetes, the decision to fast on Yom Kippur is not a simple one and can even be dangerous, although almost all of them wish to do so.

"Some patients", says Dr. Noa Sylvetsky, an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem, "can fast without experiencing any problems, but some have to prepare in advance for the fast with the help of medical advice."

"The need for medical consultation stems from the fact that some of the medications commonly taken for diabetes have a long term effect and can cause a sudden lowering of sugar levels (hypoglocemia) during the fast",  Dr. Sylvetsky explains. "This can be life threatening in certain cases. On the other hand, for some, the danger is in a rise to dangerously high levels of blood sugar during the fast."

"Changing or adapting medication before the fast can prevent this risk. It is recommended that patients with diabetes consult with their doctor about the advisability of fasting at all and and about suggested changes in medication several days before the fast".

However, in order to further help diabetics get through the fast safely, Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem is offering individual consultations  without charge on Tuesday, September 30 during the morning hours. Diabetics (not juvenile type 1 diabetes or pregnant women) who call for an appointment or leave a message at 02-5645025 or fax 02-6555349 or mail [email protected] will be able to meet with Dr. Gavriel Minter, Head of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine Gimel or Endocrinologists Dr. Noa Sylvetsky or Dr. Lior Tolkin for advice geared personally to their specific condition.

"It is imperative to bring an up to date list of medications, and the patient's last blood tests, including hemoglobin AIC and kidney function", Dr. Sylvetsky adds.