The local NHS has issued its usual warning to those intending to observe Ramadan to take care of their health while fasting. Doctors warn it is particularly important to be careful this year as Ramadan will take place when the days are at their longest – so each fasting days is especially long.
Specific warnings issued by local doctors include the following.
•The longer, warmer days expected over Ramadan this year 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. 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.
•Eating a balanced diet during non-fasting hours helps to keep your body functioning properly during the day. Foods that release energy slowly, including carbohydrates and protein, will help to maintain energy levels. The NHS Live Well website has healthy meal ideas. Go to:
•If you are giving up smoking for Ramadan (and if you aren’t, why not?) just carry on stopping and don’t start again. It might seem daunting, but the NHS can help. Speak to your GP or your local pharmacist, or go to:
•If you are taking any prescription medicines, do not stop taking them over Ramadan – or change the dose or time you take them – unless and until you have discussed this with your GP or practice nurse. Medication can be altered so that you can fast safely, but work out how to do this with a trained medical practitioner – no freelancing!
•Make sure you attend all your regular medical appointments during Ramadan. If you need to change an appointment, ring the GP or hospital well in advance.
•If you feel unwell, seek medical help. If you need to see a doctor urgently, there are two GP-led walk-in services in Tower Hamlets (located at The Barkantine and St Andrews Health centres), both of which are open from 8am to 8pm every day of the week. In the case of genuine emergencies, go to A&E.
We wish all our readers a healthy and safe Ramadan.