MOH News
Medical Tips for Diabetics Willing to Set out for Hajj
06 October 2013
The consultant of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Dr. Safeyyah bint Murad al-Sherbini, has affirmed that no one other than the doctor could determine whether the diabetic patient can or cannot perform the Hajj rites, especially in case the diabetic suffers from weakness of the kidneys or arteriosclerosis. Some diabetics will have to undergo comprehensive examination, to check on the functions of kidneys, as well as the hemoglobin.
 
She pointed out that keeping to a balanced diet exercise, as well as the hypoglycemic pills or insulin, would be very effective and beneficial in facilitating the performance of the Hajj rites, Allâh willing, both easily and safely.
 
Dr. al-Sherbini made this announcement while interviewed at the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center, within the context of the service dubbed “Pilgrims' health is our concern!”, launched by the Ministry of Health, as part of the free medical consultation service provided each year by the Media and Health Awareness Information Center, for the 10th consecutive year through the toll-free number: 8002494444, and via the MOH Twitter account: @saudimoh.
 
Dr. al-Sherbini advised pilgrims to get an elaborate report on their health condition, as well as the medications and doses to be taken. She also advised pilgrims with diabetes to carry around an e-card recording the key information related to his health status, medications and doses. They should also take all their medicines in adequate quantities, so as to suffice the entire period of Hajj,
 
As for the medical kit to be carried around by pilgrims with diabetes, Dr. al-Sherbini stressed it should include adequate quantities of the prescribed medicines, whether pills or insulin doses, as well as a blood-sugar analysis device for those who take pills or insulin doses. Diabetics taking insulin, particularly, should conduct the blood-sugar analysis not less than 3 times a day. It should also include additional batteries, medical swabs and the like, especially in case the pilgrim suffers from other chronic diseases, given that diabetics frequently suffer such chronic diseases as hypertension and high cholesterol.
 
She stressed that diseased pilgrims should take all their medicines in adequate quantities, so as to suffice the entire period of Hajj,
 
Pilgrims taking insulin, Dr. Safeyyah said, should take with them glucagon injections. Glucagon is necessary for succoring the diabetic patient in case of the incidence of abrupt low blood-sugar (hypoglycemia), or when he is inflicted with a coma, Allâh forbid! This injection is of crucial importance, for it modifies the ratio of sugar-blood directly and quickly. Sugar-coma, she warned, may occur in cases of both low and high blood-sugar. Older persons and those who do not take the prescribed medication regularly are more susceptible to comas than other, she said.
 
Addressing diabetics using insulin, Dr. Safeyyah advised to buy an “Insulin Protector” to keep insulin at a proper temperature. Meanwhile, she warned them against keeping insulin in suitcases, or transporting it by land, sea or air, and keeping it, instead in a handbag, since the temperature at cargo planes is too low, and may freeze the insulin drug. And in case the diabetic is obliged to insert the insulin into the suitcase, he will have to wrap it very well by cork and protective bubbles, and then enclosed amid clothes. Among the tips Dr. Al-Sherbini provided for pilgrims with diabetes was to keep in their handbags some sugar loaves, sweets and juices to use in cases of low blood-sugar during pilgrimage.
 
Dr. Safeyyah called upon the diabetic patient should put on cotton socks and comfortable medical shoes, and pay close attention to his feet lest it should get wounded, Allah forbid, that might trigger inflammation, gangrene, leading up to foot amputation.
 
Besides, Dr. Al-Sherbini advised patients with diabetes suffering from peripheral nerve damage and constant numbness in the leg, to use wheelchairs in Sa'i and Tawaf instead of walking on their feet. She also stressed that diabetic patients must get influenza vaccination before coming to Hajj, noting that the local and international studies and recommendations reported that diabetic patients must get influenza vaccination before the onset of winter each year, and get pneumococcal vaccination once in a lifetime.
 
Numerous questions were received by the MOH Twitter account, some of which revolved around whether eating much sweet might cause the incidence of diabetes, or is it entirely and exclusively a hereditary matter. Dr. al-Sherbini, answering the question, made clear that a recent study has proven that eating much white sugar might trigger the incidence of first-type diabetes, given the presence of a genetic predisposition.
 
It should be noted, finally, that tomorrow, Monday, 2/12/1434H (corresponding to 7/10/2013), from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Ph. Amal Abul-Jadayel will be interviewed within the frame work of the service dubbed: “Pilgrims' health is our concern”, launched by the MOH Media and Health Awareness Information Center. That will be followed by another interview, from 1 to 3 p.m., with Dr. Jameel Faqiha, an orthopedic consultant, to provide orthopedic-related tips for those willing to perform Hajj.
 
 
 



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