Health Article
Dec 30, 2020

Beware of These Health Problems During Fasting

During the period of fasting, everyone has a different diet patterns and there is usually changes in habits.  Ideally, excessive food intake must be avoided during fasting.  With a balanced nutritional intake, fasting can be a form of health therapy.  Fasting can make the body’s metabolism stable and healthy.  On the other hand, an unbalanced nutritional intake will lead to disease.

Here are some diseases that are commonly found during fasting:

  1. Headache

This is a complaint commonly found during fasting.  Dehydration, hunger, lack of rest, or lack of commonly consumed addictive substances (nicotine, caffeine) are some of the causes of headaches during fasting.

Some of the things that can be done to overcome this include eating a balanced diet at dawn (sahur) and when breaking the fast, increasing the consumption of fluids, taking pain relievers when needed, and providing light massage to tense muscles.  Wearing a hat and sunglasses to avoid direct sun exposure can also help prevent headaches.

  1. Heartburn

Marked by complaints of discomfort in the upper abdomen accompanied by a burning sensation in the middle of the chest and frequent burping.  These complaints generally arise due to increased acid in the stomach.

To overcome this, you should avoid lying down after eating, raise your sleeping pillow, reduce consumption of fatty, oily and spicy foods, caffeine and stop smoking.  You can also take antacids to relieve these complaints.

  1. Dehydration

Dehydration is common when fasting, and is more prone to occur to the elderly. Dehydration occurs due to reduced fluid consumption during fasting, while loss of body fluids still occurs through urine, sweat and breathing.  Symptoms that appear depend on the degree of dehydration experienced, starting from the body feeling weak, the head feeling dizzy, disorientation and even fainting.

Dehydration can be prevented by increasing the consumption of fluids when breaking the fast, at night and at dawn.  If you experience symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration (difficulty standing due to dizziness, feeling very weak, even fainting), you should immediately break and rehydrate.

  1. Constipation

This is one of the problems that often occurs when fasting.  Even though it seems trivial, it can disturb the comfort while fasting in the Holy Month.  Ensure that you consume enough fluids, maintain a healthy diet by increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables.  If necessary, you can use laxatives to deal with these complaints.

  1. Obesity

If your food intake is not carefully watched out, you might even gain weight during fasting.  Maintain a healthy and balanced diet during fasting and do light exercise before breaking the fast.

Remember, Ramadan fasting is a moment to restore your lifestyle, not a means or a place for revenge when breaking the fast.

If you experience complaints as above, and they do not get better with lifestyle changes or medications or are even getting worse and interfere with your daily activities, you should further consult with your doctor.;;;