6 fasting tips for patients with GERD and peptic ulcers

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD, occurs when stomach acid flows backward into the tube connecting the mouth and the stomach. Over time, this ‘acid reflux’ leads to a lining in the stomach and irritates the oesophagus. This can sometimes lead to peptic ulcers, causing pain and burning sensations.

Patients with GERD and peptic ulcers can fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan, provided they keep their symptoms in check. Contrary to common belief, doctors and medical health practitioners recommend fasting for patients with GERD and peptic ulcers as it helps relieve symptoms associated with inappropriate acid production.

Here are a few things patients with GERD and peptic ulcers should keep in mind when fasting during Ramadan:

  • Limit the consumption of fatty, spicy, and processed foods and those with a high sugar content.
  • Break up the Iftar meal into smaller, manageable meals to prevent nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.
  • Consume fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in dietary fibers, and avoid acidic fruits and vegetables.
  • Quit smoking as this can aggravate acid reflux, cause recurrence of peptic ulcers, and slow down the healing of existing ulcers.
  • Avoid sleeping immediately after the Suhoor or Iftar meal as this can worsen symptoms of patients with GERD and peptic ulcers. Wait at least two hours after each meal before going to sleep.
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages or consume them at least two hours after Iftar as these can have harmful effects on patients with GERD and peptic ulcers and can exacerbate indigestion.

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