While Muslims eagerly await the holy month of Ramadan each year, the month-long fasting period can take a toll on the body, especially if you are not ready. Energy levels and appetites deplete by the end of the month. However, health officials say that we should try to ease our way into Ramadan gradually.
“We should consider to slowly cut back on how much we eat and avoid eating large portions of high carb foods before the fast,” advised Dr. Teeb Al Awadi, consultant family medicine at the Medcare Medical Centre-Motorcity.
“This will help reduce our appetite and make it easier to control hunger during fasting hours. Make sure you stop snacking between meals and drink at least two to three liters of water in the days before the start of Ramadan,” she advised.
In case, a person has diabetes; fasting advice varies on an individual basis – depending on the type, severity, and medication that the patient is using for his diabetes control.
“Generally speaking, we recommend to increase fluid intake during the non-fasting hours, ensure eating a balanced healthy diet and take the Suhoor meal as late as possible before the start of the fasting,” said the doctor.
Diabetic patients will need to visit their doctor before the start of Ramadan fasting to check the blood sugar control and to adjust their medication timing accordingly, she added.
With the weather getting hotter, the doctor said that there is a need to make sure to drink enough water. “Direct exposure to the sun, especially between noon and 4 pm should also be avoided. Try to stay in the shade and wear hats if needed. Fasting can make you tired and fatigued. So, make sure to relax and avoid any strenuous activity during fasting hours,” she said.