A recent study published in the leading national newspaper, Gulf News, reports that the duration and sleep cycles of a fast has a direct effect on ones driving behaviour.
Dr Prakash Pania, consultant endocrinologist at Aster Jubilee Medical Complex, Dubai says, “The symptoms of hypoglycemia get more pronounced as the duration of fast increases, invariably leading to loss of focus and impaired judgment while driving.” Hence the consequential lack of concentration can lead to a lower reaction time in motorists, causing them to miss road signs or exits, change driving speed without realizing and even increase impatience with other drivers.
The doctor further emphasises that motorists who have diabetes must be even more careful during Ramadan, as fasting naturally causes a drop in sugar levels thus increasing the chances of hypoglycemia which occurs when the blood sugar level falls to 70mg/dl or lower. According to Dr. Prakash, symptoms include a sensation of hunger, weakness, tiredness, and dizziness. It is at this stage that those who drive can pose a serious threat to themselves and others. So if you begin to feel any of these it is best suggested that you park your car and immediately test your sugar levels.
According to diabetes.co.uk, staying in lane may take more concentration, in this state, and people will become more fatigued, finding it more difficult to make decisions and to focus their vision.
The doctor recommends, “It is imperative to educate people that frequently self-monitoring blood sugar levels during the fasting period is allowed and doesn’t amount to breaking of the fast. This way they can keep a track of their blood sugars and be confident of fasting uninterruptedly.”
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