If you are unable to stand up due to dizziness


Another NHS page on how to deal with the health risks of Ramadan; this one is much more forthright, so that’s good.

Some common health complications that can arise from fasting and how to prevent and deal with them.

The following advice has been provided following consultation with medical experts and Islamic scholars.

Um…they’re the Health Service; they shouldn’t be consulting religious “scholars” on health issues.

They start with heartburn. They have some suggestions for how to minimize it,

Then they tackle diabetes. They say people who take insulin regularly shouldn’t fast at all; it’s too risky.

People who have their diabetes under control using tablets should seek careful advice from their GP before starting a fast.

Regular self-monitoring of your blood glucose is strongly advised. Low blood sugar levels (a ‘hypo’) are dangerous, and if untreated may lead to fainting or fits.

Feeling dizzy, sweaty and disoriented may all suggest a hypo. If a person with diabetes has these symptoms, they should immediately have a sugary drink, or place sugar or a sugar-rich sweet below their tongue.

In other words…people with diabetes shouldn’t fast, period. But they don’t say that. I guess that would be the “Islamic scholars” contributing.

Then there’s advice on headaches, then they get to dehydration.

Dehydration

Dehydration is common during a fast. The body continues to lose water and salts through breathing, perspiring and urinating.

If you don’t drink sufficiently before a fast your risk of dehydration is increased. This risk is higher in older people and in those taking tablets such as diuretics.

If you are unable to stand up due to dizziness, or you are disoriented, you should urgently drink regular, moderate quantities of water – ideally with sugar and salt – or Dioralyte or Lucozade.

If you faint due to dehydration, your legs should be raised above your head by others, and when you awake, you should urgently rehydrate as outlined above.

In other words…you shouldn’t go without water. It’s a really bad idea. But they don’t say that; the scholars again no doubt.

Then they do constipation, stress, and weight control.

I wish they could just give medical advice, and say they don’t advise doing it at all, and skip consulting the “scholars.”

Comments

  1. Shatterface says

    Drinking too much before fasting can be equally as dangerous.

    A lot of those who’s deaths were attributed to ecstasy in the Eighties and Nineties actually died because they drank too much water following government advice.

    The body isn’t an engine which you can simply fill up with fuel until it runs out and then fill it up again.

  2. Shatterface says

    Have the NHS given advice about how fasting may post a health risk to others if your job involves driving, operating machinery or requires concentration of any kind?

  3. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    If people believe they are obeying god by not eating and drinking, unfortunately showing that their religion permits them to eat and drink under those conditions is more likely to work than showing that they need to eat and drink for the good of their health. The health advice is useless without the “scholars” because it will be ignored. It’s a matter of pure practicality.

  4. Shatterface says

    I’m a union rep and my union supports religious rights to fast – but if our employer even suggested skipping refreshment breaks they’d throw a fit.

    The gents toilet even has a poster showing the colour urine should be if you are healthy and hydrated and the scary colours it might be if you are not, and pointing out urine should be odourless, and that if you are dehydrated you will be fatigued, and that most workplace accidents happen when you are unable to concentrate.

  5. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Have the NHS given advice about how fasting may post a health risk to others if your job involves driving, operating machinery or requires concentration of any kind?

    I don’t know if they still do it, but London Transport used to bring out “muslim scholars” who pointed out that bus and train drivers were going on journeys by definition and didn’t need to fast.

  6. Shatterface says

    I don’t know if they still do it, but London Transport used to bring out “muslim scholars” who pointed out that bus and train drivers were going on journeys by definition and didn’t need to fast.

    That’s fortunate as I really wouldn’t like to be on a plane flying westward as the pilot might be fasting a very long time between sunrise and sunset.

  7. Shatterface says

    Just out of interest, would this rule apply to astronauts? Sunrise to sunset might be less than an hour in orbit but a hell of a lot longer on the moon.

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