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 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.”