5 common health concerns in Ramadan and how to manage them

Fasting has many health benefits. However, unhealthy habits can lead to problems. Here are a few common health conditions people experience during Ramadan and how to manage them:

Constipation:
It mainly develops due to low levels of body fluids and decreased peristaltic movements of the intestine. Prevent constipation by:

  • Incorporating fiber-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids and limiting the intake of caffeinated beverages and soft drinks as these can cause dehydration.
  • Indulging in a 30-minute walk after Iftar promotes the peristaltic movement of the intestines and prevents constipation.

Indigestion:
Overeating, particularly fatty and spicy foods, is the leading cause of indigestion. Prevent indigestion by:

  • Avoiding overeating
  • Limiting the consumption of fatty and spicy foods.
  • Beginning your Iftar with some dates and warm, fat-free vegetable soup.
  • Drinking soft drinks and caffeinated beverages at least 2 hours after Iftar.

Muscle cramps and aches:
Dehydration and reduced levels of electrolytes such as potassium and calcium in the body leads to muscular cramps and pain, particularly in the legs.
Drink plenty of fluids and consume dates, bananas, figs, and dairy products to maintain a healthy electrolyte level.

Fatigue:
Consuming excessive amounts of fat, sugar, and carbohydrate-rich food during Iftar can lead to fatigue. Changes in sleep patterns can also cause fatigue. Avoid overeating and get sufficient sleep in Ramadan to prevent fatigue.

Headaches:
Headaches can be caused by several factors including reduced intake of caffeinated beverages, dehydration, hypoglycemia, lack of sleep, and changes in sleep cycle. Prevent headaches by:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids during the time between Iftar and Suhoor to replenish body fluids.
  • Getting sufficient rest during the day and at least 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
  • Gradually reducing caffeine intake before Ramadan to build a tolerance level and avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

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