Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims all over the world where they fast from sunrise to sunset for 29 to 30 days (dependent on the sighting of the new moon), followed by the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr. This fasting is not only about abstaining from food and drink, but it also includes mindful and spiritual practices that are beneficial for both physical and mental health. During this time, people consume a pre-dawn meal called suhoor and break their fast with an evening meal called iftar.
If you are a Muslim observing Ramadan, it is essential to take care of your health, especially if you have any chronic medical conditions. Here are a few healthcare tips that can help you stay healthy during Ramadan:
1. Consult your doctor before starting to fast, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other chronic medical condition.
2. Take your medication as prescribed and avoid skipping any doses, but do check with your GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times you take them changed.
3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids during non-fasting hours.
4. Try to eat a balanced diet during iftar that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
5. Avoid overeating or consuming high-calorie and high-fat foods during iftar.
6. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest during Ramadan.
7. Be mindful of physical activity, as it may be challenging to exercise while fasting.
What to do if you become unwell while fasting
The British Islamic Medical Association advises that if you become unwell during Ramadan, you should stop fasting and seek medical advice. You can do this by visiting 111.nhs.uk or your GP practice’s website or if you don’t have access to the internet, by calling 111 or your practice directly.
Celebrating Eid Al-Fitr
The month will end with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr which is due to be marked on Saturday 22 April, subject to the sighting of the new moon. It’s traditionally a celebration involving meals, parties, and visiting family and friends and attending special prayers in mosques.
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Wishing everyone celebrating Ramadan a blessed and healthy month ahead! Ramadan Mubarak!