Every Ramzan, leading health experts, both in Pakistan and in other Muslim countries, issue advisories and alerts on how to eat sensibly during the holy month and steer clear of indigestion and other gastrointestinal issues that affect a wide cross-section of believers.
However, people by and large tend to turn a deaf ear to these stark health warnings and find themselves unable to resist the temptation of oily and unhealthy snacks that end up damaging their digestive system, prompting them to frequent doctors.
“It’s important to make good and healthy diet choices to help our body adapt to fasting during Ramzan,” a leading health expert at one of Karachi’s top tertiary care hospitals, said.
“Fasting during this month leads to changes in a person’s usual diet routine, so, good health and activity levels throughout the entire month is highly recommended. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if overeating, or unhealthy eating patterns, lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and a variety of digestive illnesses.”
Heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion are common digestive issues that are experienced during Ramzan. These are typically brought on by a sudden intake of rich and spicy food following a long day of fasting.
Spike in Digestive Disorders
In addition to GERD and gastritis, constipation is a common condition that affects a sizeable number of people during Ramzan. This happens when the digestive system slows down with the new eating routine, necessitating the need for drinking plenty of water. The problem can also be prevented by healthier meal choices during Seher and Iftar.
Specialists from the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, report a heavy footfall during the holy month. They say that people typically come with common conditions like gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), loose motions, and gastritis, which is caused by inflammation in the stomach lining.
Here are some useful tips that can help you do away with these common stomach conditions during Ramzan, only if you act on them in earnest.
Drink plenty of water
It’s crucial to stay hydrated while fasting. In addition to aiding digestion, it can help with other common health problems caused by extended fasts, like constipation, headaches, and back pain. Instead of drinking it all at once, try to consume 2 to 3 liters per day in small sips over a long period of time. This will make it easier for your body to absorb.
Avoid fizzy beverages because they contain a lot of sugar and their gas can make you bloated. Additionally, try to stay away from coffee, a diuretic that will make you pee more frequently and cause dehydration. When consumed on an empty stomach, caffeine can also result in diarrhea and gastrointestinal cramps.
Refrain from overeating
After an extended day of fasting, breaking a fast with a heavy meal all too abruptly turns out to be a massive challenge, causing tremendous strain to your gut and resulting in severe stomach cramps and acid reflux, both of which can be detrimental to the throat. So, it’s key to break your fast with small bites of snack and exercise caution in your eating patterns to be able to avoid both stomach disorders and underlying medical conditions including high cholesterol and diabetes.
Take in lots of B complex supplements
It has been established that taking a B complex vitamin like Neurobion at Seher helps maintain energy levels throughout the fast.
Steer clear of salty, oily food
Fasting frequently causes a surge in gastrointestinal acidity, which can make the stomach feel heavy and burn. Eating fiber-rich foods will help you prevent undergoing this experience. Additionally, it’s vital to stay away from foods that are fried, extremely spicy, salty, or loaded with sugar. Sweets shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities, particularly when you’re hungry, as they can lead to health issues like indigestion, heartburn, and weight issues.
When you eat too much sodium, your body retains water, making you feel bloated, and spicy foods also make you thirsty. Sugary meals and sweets burn quickly and only keep you full for three to four hours. In addition, eating these will lead to obesity, higher cholesterol, and, eventually, high blood pressure.
Perform mild workouts
Light exercise, which will maintain your body flexible and in shape, is highly advisable during fasting. In the heat, your body may also confuse a lack of water with hunger, which may lead you to consume more than you should. When breaking your fast, make sure to consume lots of water. Explore exercises that could keep you up and running and perfectly fit even in this month.
Don’t sleep on a full stomach
One of the unhealthiest habits Pakistanis take to is sleep immediately after taking a substantial food replete with oil, sodium, and spice. You will see its worst manifestations at a typical wedding where food is normally served slightly before midnight, a time highly inappropriate to take any kind of meal. In Ramzan, too, people tend to resort to this deleterious practice, which causes them to experience severe stomach and other health issues. Therefore, the best way to avoid such an eventuality is that you should stop eating at least two hours before you intend to sleep.
Consume more fiber
Fiber is one of the best foods for your gut health that keeps bloating and constipation at bay. Nevertheless, it’s easier said than done as eating fiber can sometimes be a challenge. That said, however, ensure to include whole grains, beans and pulses regular features of your diet plan as much as possible.
Fasting is essentially an exercise in self-discipline. For those who are chain smokers, foodaholics, caffeine addicts, etc., fasting is a good chance to break the habit in the hopes that the impact will last after the month is over.
Speak to your doctor
Always discuss the effects of any change in your eating habits with your doctor if you have a pre-existing digestive condition. It’s also crucial to talk about changing your prescription schedule for Ramzan because skipping doses could damage your digestive system.
Even though minor digestive issues are fairly prevalent and typically manageable, you should always consult your doctor if you develop any new or unsettling symptoms while fasting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *