Manage your diabetes during Hajj
Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare offers some tips for how to properly prepare for and manage health issues while performing Hajj.
To assist those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes to perform Hajj, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare provides the following safety and health advice.
• Consult your physician and other health care providers in advance to ensure you maintain normal blood sugar, blood pressure and lipid levels and aren’t suffering from any acute illness that could become aggravated and prevent you from completing your Hajj
• Meningitis is a required vaccination; however, you should also receive a flu vaccination if you haven’t already done so
• Discuss with the dietitian your nutrition plan and what kind of food and drinks to consume during Hajj. Discuss your foot care program and medications safety with the diabetes educator. It is important you learn how to care about your feet to avoid injuries. If you do injure your foot, go to the nearest medical center. Remember to always keep your feet clean and dry.
• Inform the group organizers and your companions that you have diabetes, and explain to them the symptoms and signs of low blood sugar and what to do.
Tips to low blood sugar during Hajj
• Consume your meals and snacks regularly, and do not skip any
• Take your diabetes medications as advised by your physician
• Regularly monitor your blood sugar to ensure it remains within a normal level
• If you experience low blood sugar more often than usual, visit the nearest emergency center to adjust your medication. Always be ready to treat your low blood sugar by consuming a half cup of fruit juice, regular soft drink (not diet) or a portion of jam or honey. If it is high, remain calm and measure it again in 15 minutes. If it is still low, repeat your intake of juice or sugar. You should then be able to consume a healthy snack or sandwich and resume your Hajj rites.
• Inform your Hajj companions not to feed you any food or drink if you are in a coma due to severe low blood sugar. If you take insulin as part of your diabetes treatment, carry a Glucagon kit so you can receive an injection.
Important health and safety tips
• Consume only safe food and drinks to avoid food poisoning or diarrhea
• Drink adequate amounts of fluids, mainly water (a minimum of 8 cups a day), to avoid dehydration
• Wash your hands with soap and water often to reduce the risk of infection
• Do not share with others your personal hygiene items such as razor blades or scissors.
Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare wishes you a rewarding, safe and healthy Hajj.