Planning ahead to stay healthy this Ramadan

People preparing to observe Ramadan this year are reminded to plan ahead to stay healthy and ensure they can continue to take any prescribed medication safely.

In some cases GPs may be able to change a prescription, so that people do not have to take medication whilst fasting. 

This year, Ramadan, the month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset each day, will start on or around 26 May (depending on the sighting of the new moon).  

It is also really important that people observing Ramadan continue to attend all medical appointments during Ramadan. 

If you feel you are unable to attend a medical appointment, please call to rearrange.

Dehydration risk

Fasting during longer and warmer days can increase the risk of dehydration, causing body aches, cramps, dizziness and exhaustion.

Dehydration can particularly affect people with existing medical problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. If you think there is a problem, please don’t hesitate to seek medical help.

If you feel unwell and need to see a doctor, contact your GP, or call NHS 111.

Precautions

To stay healthy, it’s important to take some simple precautions, such as:

  • Avoiding long periods of time in the sun, rehydrating well during non-fasting hours and cutting back on all types of caffeinated drinks.
  • If you have diabetes, you should continue to monitor your blood glucose levels as testing your blood glucose levels does not break your fast. Medicines such as ear drops, eye drops or patches where the medicine is absorbed through the skin can also be used whilst fasting.
  • It’s also important that people taking regular medication, such as for diabetes or high blood pressure, continue to take this as prescribed until they’ve spoken to their GP about how to fast safely.

Food

Foods that release energy slowly such as carbohydrates and protein will help in maintaining energy levels. For a range of healthy meal ideas during Ramadan visit the NHS Live Well website

Foods to avoid are the heavily-processed, fast burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar, white flour and too much fatty foods (e.g. cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets, such as Indian Mithai).

Quit smoking

Ramadan is also a perfect opportunity to quit smoking. If you or a friend/family member would like further advice and support to stop smoking before, during and after Ramadan, contact the Stop Smoking Service on 0800 032 0102 or email stopsmokingservice@nelft.nhs.uk today.

For additional advice from Waltham Forest Council including support with stopping smoking please follow this link https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/content/stay-well-during-ramadan