Ramadan is the Islamic month in which Muslims around the world observe fasting.
Local doctors in Lancashire encourage residents to stay safe and well during this period. The fast lasts from dawn to dusk and this year that means nearly 17 hours of no food or drink passing the lips.
Dr Pervez Muzzafar, a local GP who is fasting himself said:
“Ramadan is not only a period of abstaining from food, but it is also a time of spiritual reflection. Anyone suffering from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, lung diseases and arthritis or those taking medications, require more planning and discipline to observe the fast.
“Please seek advice about your health condition and medications as this is extremely important so that your doses can be assessed.
“Another important factor this year is the Covid-19 vaccine. If you are invited to get your vaccine, or you have a second dose booked this Ramadan, please take it. The Covid vaccine does not contain components of animal origin and the vaccination does not break your fast.”
For more information please visit: nhs.uk/CovidVaccine
“It is important to make sure you have two meals a day; sehr and iftar. Also avoid or limit your intake of deep-fried food such as pakoras and samosas and high sugar desserts. You can replace these foods with plenty of fruit, fibre and fluid to keep well hydrated and energetic.”
For many people Ramadan is a good time to consider stopping smoking for good or making permanent changes to their diet long-term to help with healthy eating and weight loss.
For help with stopping smoking contact: https://www.quitsquad.nhs.uk/
The key to maintaining health during Ramadan, especially if it takes place during warm weather, is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water when not fasting and excessive caffeine should be avoided.
Signs of dehydration to look out for include producing little or no urine, feeling faint, disorientated or confused and having a persistent and severe headache.
If you feel ill during your fast, make sure you seek medical help as soon as possible and do not leave it for too late, especially if you are diabetic or suffer from kidney diseases. If you are in any doubt, please consult your pharmacist or GP to avoid any complications. Have a very happy and healthy Ramadan.