Preventing infections while fasting

During Ramadan, there is a significant decrease in water consumption over a long period of time. The unrelenting heat, harsh sunlight and longer days do not make it easy for people who fast. When you add dehydration, fatigue and weakness to the equation, you can have several health complications, including kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs) in both men and women. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration are increased thirst, headache, lightheadedness, constipation, dry skin and mouth. We receive a number of patients who come to us with dehydration during Ramadan. All individuals planning to fast need to recognize the issue in advance of the fasting period and adopt the right measures to reduce the incidence of the problem to have a safe and healthy holy month.

The incidence of kidney, ureter or bladder (KUB) stones and urinary tract (UTIs) infections can increase in individuals towards the last days of Ramadan. Stones are commonly seen in people who consume less than the suggested eight to ten glasses of water a day. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, which is found in urine, the pH (alkaline) level within the urine lowers and becomes more acidic. A highly acidic environment in the kidneys is linked to the incidence of kidney stones. (more…)

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Tips To Stay Hydrated In Ramadan

Most people take drinking water for granted and do not meet the adequate requirement of water consumption, which is especially true in Ramadan. It is extremely important to drink sufficient water during Suhoor and Iftar in order to replace the water that is lost from the body during daily activities like sweating and urination. Many times people tend to ignore drinking water because they do not like the taste if it. Here are some tips to ensure adequate hydration during Ramadan. (more…)

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gut feeling during ramadan

Gut Health during Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a spiritual practice and is known to improve health. However, if one fails to follow the correct diet during Ramadan, it can cause digestive problems. Ramadan is a time when digestive issues are common, due to the changes in the timing, types and quantity of food taken during this period. During the month of Ramadan digestive issues like heartburn, belching, bloating and constipation are rather common. These conditions occur not just to those with pre-existing gastric problems but also to those who never had gastric issues before. Festivities and feasts during this month often cause acidity, heartburn, indigestion, constipation etc.

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Ramadan health

Managing your body during Ramadan

Fasting in Ramadan has a number of health benefits if done properly. But fasting in this sweltering heat can have a negative impact if you do not take the necessary precautions, and this can lead to constipation, heart burns, dehydration, irritability or lack of concentration.

What are some of the benefits of fasting?

  • It promotes weight loss
  • It helps remove toxins from the body
  • It lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
  • It plays a major role in stabilizing insulin sensitivity
  • It provides a better control on blood pressure and diabetes
  • It leads to a state of increased mental well-being

What are the bodily changes that occur during fasting?

In the normal state glucose is the main source of energy which is stored in muscles and liver. During fasting, glucose is used first followed by fats once the glucose runs out.

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The effect of Ramadan on Cardiac Patients

Ramadan is an ideal platform to target year long lifestyle modification, to ensure that whatever health care benefits have been gained during this month, are perpetuated.

Patients with stable Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) can observe fasting during Ramadan without anticipating any major adverse cardiac events while those with unstable disease or recent/pending revascularization should largely refrain from fasting. Previous studies have shown that neither has there been an increase in the incidences of acute myocardial infarction nor has there been an increase in the number of patients hospitalized due to heart failure, during Ramadan.

A fairly small group of patients with cardiac conditions should be advised to refrain from fasting during Ramadan. These include patients with acute cardiac illnesses like Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). Patients with uncontrolled HTN requiring multiple dosages during the daytime should be counseled against fasting. Patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) requiring high doses of diuretics should also refrain from fasting.

Patients are encouraged to seek medical advice 1 or 2 months before Ramadan in order to adjust their medications if needed. Drugs given thrice daily can be usually changed to single sustained doses.

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