New Tech Helps People with Diabetes Monitor Their Glucose Levels During Ramadan

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system offers alternative for regular glucose monitoring, helping to reduce risks associated with variations in glucose levels during the fasting period

Thousands of people living with diabetes will be able to monitor their glucose levels while fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

According to the International Diabetes Federation and the DAR (Diabetes and Ramadan) International Alliance, unmonitored fasting for patients living with diabetes carries the risk of complications associated with blood glucose levels going too low or too high, known as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia respectively1.

Living with diabetes can cause daily fluctuations in glucose levels; however, regular glucose monitoring throughout Ramadan will help maintain better glucose control2. FreeStyle Libre empowers people with diabetes who are fasting by keeping a close eye on their glucose levels around the clock.

Developed by Abbott, FreeStyle Libre is the world leading sensor-based glucose monitoring system. A small sensor worn on the back of the upper arm automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night, eliminating the need for routine finger pricks3.

Providing support for people with diabetes who fast during Ramadan, the features and reports of the FreeStyle Libre system can help those people limit glucose variability, minimising risk of hypoglycemia and better managing their overall glucose levels4.

“Diabetes is a public health issue in the Middle East and Africa”, said Hani Khasati, Regional Director of Abbott’s diabetes care business. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 54.8 million adults aged 18 to 79 years in the Middle East and North Africa are currently living with diabetes5. Unfortunately, the risks of severe hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia increase significantly in patients who don’t monitor their blood sugar levels while fasting during Ramadan.”

Practical guidelines by the Epidemiology of Diabetes and Ramadan (EPIDIAR) found that people with diabetes typically fast for at least 15 days during Ramadan.  Additionally, the study recorded higher rates of severe hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes while fasting as compared with statistics before fasting.6 Despite these risks, only 37 per cent of people with Type 2 and 67 per cent of people with Type 1 diabetes monitor blood glucose while fasting1.

The FreeStyle Libre system offers people greater insights on their glucose levels; such as current glucose readings, glucose level patterns, up to eight hours of glucose history, and low glucose events reports. With easy access to their complete glycemic status, people with diabetes can act faster and more effectively to limit variabilities in their glucose levels during Ramadan.

“With unmatched clinical figures supported by real world data, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre system is a great alternative for people living with diabetes and fasting during Ramadan. Data shows that users of the FreeStyle Libre system have improved their glucose control, increased their time in target glucose range7, and decreased time in hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia8, as well as a sustained reduction in HbA1c over a period of 12-months9.” concluded Khasati.




1 International Diabetes Federation and the DAR International Alliance. Diabetes and Ramadan: Practical Guidelines. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2016. and

2 Lessan, N., Hasan, H., & Barakat, M. T. (2012). Ramadan fasting: a study of changes in glucose profiles among patients with diabetes using continuous glucose monitoring. Diabetes care, 35(5), e37. doi:10.2337/dc11-2037

3 A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycaemia or impending hypoglycaemia is reported by the system or when symptoms do not match the system readings.

4 J Lang, et al. Expanded Real-world Use Confirms Strong Association between Frequency of Flash Glucose Monitoring and Glucose Control. Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes Meeting. Berlin. February 20-23, 2019. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Volume 21, Supplement 1, 2019.

5 International Diabetes Federation, Ninth Edition, 2019.

6 Salti I, Benard E, Detournay B, et al. A population-based study of diabetes and its characteristics during the fasting month of Ramadan in 13 countries: results of the epidemiology of diabetes and Ramadan 1422/2001 (EPIDIAR) study. Diabetes Care 2004;27:2306–11.

7 Canadian real-world analysis of flash glucose monitoring and glycemic control; Lori Berard, Laura Brandner

8 Acute diabetes complications defined by hypoglycemia, hypoglycemic coma, hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, or hyperosmolarity ICD-10 codes as primary diagnosis for inpatient or as any position in the outpatient emergency claim; Matthew Kerr, Gregory Roberts, Diana Souto, Yelena Nabutovsky

9 Improving HbA1c control in people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes using flash glucose monitoring: a retrospective observational analysis in two German centers; Gerhard Klausmann, Ludger Rose, Alexander Seibold

10 FreeStyle LibreLink is a mobile application. Use of FreeStyle LibreLink requires registration with LibreView, a service provided by Abbott and Newyu, Inc. Data charges may apply when downloading the FreeStyle LibreLink or LibreLinkUp apps. FreeStyle Libre readers and sensors are provided by Abbott.

11 60-minute warm-up required when applying the sensor.

12 Sensor is water resistant in up to 1 meter (3 feet) of water Do not immerse longer than 30 minutes. Not to be used above 10,000 feet.

13 Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care Inc.

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