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Each Ramadan, millions of Muslims come together to fulfil an important pillar of the Islamic faith, by abstaining from food, drink and marital relations during daylight hours. This is both an act of worship and unity that serves to teach us lessons about humility and self-control.

Practically speaking, many of us are getting ready for the month long event by planning activities for the communities we live, whilst contemplating the good deeds we will do during this blessed month, when a persons good deeds are magnified. To adequately prepare for the change in routine we must be aware of any health implications, especially for people who are dependant on medication or have any other medical conditions, such as diabetes.

Health issues during Ramadan also affect the elderly, the weak, women who are pregnant or nursing and people who are new to Islam. Being aware of the health issues and making appropriate preparations will help you make the best of Ramadan, so that you can spend it focussed on worship instead of health factors that could have been managed better.

Along with food and drink, oral medication and some kinds of injections invalidate the fast. Therefore, it is important to discuss the kinds of medications you are taking with your doctor, so that you can decide on the necessity of each medication and see if you can change the dosage schedule to accommodate your fasting during Ramadan. For example, taking the medicine before dawn and after sunset, as long as your GP approves of and authorises these changes.

If you are a diabetic and are fasting during Ramadan, it is important that you are assessed by your doctor to ensure you are physically healthy and that your diabetic control is good. Your treatment for Diabetes may change because you are fasting. For more detailed guidelines concerning Diabetes & Fasting please click here. Please consult your GP before making any changes to medication or insulin dose.

Pregnant and nursing women are exempted from fasting if they have genuine reason to fear harm to themselves or their child, based on reasonable surety and not merely unfounded fears and worries. Advice should be sought from your GP who can evaluate any specific concerns. The doctor could also assist pregnant women plan their meals so that they receive adequate nutrition during non-fasting hours to avoid fatigue. New and expecting mothers also have to be particularly aware of their intake of fluids so that they can nourish their babies effectively.

Quit smoking during Ramadan

Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: For verily Allah hath been
to you most merciful. Al-Quran 4:29

If you are a smoker, we implore you to take the necessary steps to stop smoking this Ramadan. This will allow you to gain the full benefits of this holy month and will be an important step towards restoring your health. The atmosphere surrounding Ramadan helps one to have more discipline and strive to be a better Muslim in all aspects of life, it is an ideal tome to give up smoking once and for all. Call 0800 002200 or one of the following national quit lines to obtain free and confidential advice in your own language.

Urdu: 0800 002288
Gujrati: 0800 002244
Turkish: 0800 002299
Bengali: 0800 002255
Arabic: 0800 1691300

Changing you habits
Due to drinking excessive amounts of coffee or tea, some people suffer headaches, dizziness or fatigue during the first week of Ramadan. They can also experience the unpleasant effects of sudden caffeine withdrawal, which can also include irritability, nervousness, anxiety and nausea. You can minimise or avoid these symptoms by drinking lighter brews and gradually reducing your caffeine intake the month before Ramadan. It is also recommended that you drink plenty of water as a substitute and exercise regularly.

A smooth transition
Try and establish a transition period between Sha’ban (the month preceding Ramadan) and Ramadan itself by ensuing voluntary fasts, this will allow your body to adjust for Ramadan. It was the Sunnah (tradition) of the Final Messenger of God to fast during most of Sha’ban and generally on Mondays and Thursdays.


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