Page 1

Editorial Note

Editorial Team Editor: Dr. Biji Thomas George Associate Editor: Dr. Yousef Abdel Mohsin El Qabbany

The month of Ramadan is now in full swing and we are all enjoying

Issue Manager: Shyju Joseph

brings. We are all looking forward to Eid and the celebrations that

Magazine Coordinator: Anu Joseph

We carry an interesting article from our Head Emergency Physician

Design & Layout Dantis Mathew

the spiritual, mental and physical upliftment that this Holy month it brings.

about managing fasting during this Holy month and how to start and break the fast in a healthy way. Some of us have not been careful with our diets and managing our bodies at this time, resulting in some minor physical illnesses that prevent us reaping the full beneďŹ ts that we should be getting. Some common medical problems that might occur are highlighted and some easy remedies that can cure or alleviate these problems are described in our article. We also carry an article from our Cardiologist about how to diagnose High Blood Pressure or Hypertension. He also suggests some modiďŹ cations in our lifestyle which will help us to reduce our blood pressure.

Issue: 07 P.O. Box 198,PC 101, As Seeb Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24557200, Email:


Our news section and quiz section will delight you as always. Eid Mubarak to all our dear readers! Keep caring.

Dr. Biji George Editor

Healthy Fasting in Ramadan Dr Yousef El qabbany MBBCh ER Department- Incharge

these are recommended during the meals in Ramadan as there are only 2 meals per day. Foods to avoid are the heavily processed, fast-burning foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour), as

The holy month of Ramadan is now in full swing, a time when observant Muslims fast during daylight hours in as a show of patience, sacrifice and humility to God and where all the rich remember the sufferings of all the poor. This holy pillar of Islam has an underlying message of giving us the power of self-discipline and self control. All of us would love to fulfill this important obligation without having it affect our health due to the long fasting hours. This is where we give some health tips to follow to enjoy a healthy fasting during Ramadan and be fit for celebrating the Eid after the Holy month. Don't break your fast with a feast If you are not careful, food eaten during the pre-dawn (suhur) and dusk (iftar) meals can cause some weight gain and other health problems, so its highly recommended to start breaking the fast with discipline and light food like dates or juice that gives a boost of energy. Balanced diet We should have at least two meals a day, the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal at dusk (Iftar).It should contain foods

well as fatty food (for example cakes, biscuits, chocolates sweets etc). It's also worth avoiding caffeine-based drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination. Suhur Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. “Suhoor should be light and include slow digesting food like pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast so that you have a constant release of energy “It’s important to have some fluids with vitamins, such as fruit juice or fruit. Iftar It's customary for Muslims to break the fast (Iftar) with some dates, in accordance with the Prophetic traditions. Dates will provide a burst of energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalizing effect. Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence. Avoid the rich, special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast. Foods to avoid

from all the major food groups: • fruit and vegetables • bread, cereals and potatoes • meat, fish, or alternatives • milk and dairy foods • foods containing fat and sugar

• Deep-fried foods, for example, samosas and fried dumplings

Complex carbohydrates are foods that help release energy

Cooking methods to avoid

slowly during the long hours of fasting. They are found in

• deep frying

foods such as barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans,

• frying

lentils, wholemeal flour and rice. Fibre-rich foods are also

• excessive use of oil

digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains

Healthy cooking methods

and seeds, potatoes with the skin on, vegetables such as green

•Shallow frying (usually there is little difference in taste)

beans, and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes and figs

•Grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and

• High-sugar and high-fat foods, including sweets such as gulab jamun, oriental sweets icecreams • High-fat cooked foods, for example, parathas, biryani and greasy pastries.

original flavour of the food, especially with chicken and fish.

Hypertension Dr. Anoop Soman MBBS, MD, DNB Cardiologist

Hypertension is a chronic disorder that silently

Why should we treat Hypertension ?

damages the blood vessels, heart, brain & kidneys. To

Hypertension can lead to Heart attack, Heart failure, Atrial fibrillation, Stroke, Dementia, Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Aortic dissection, Peripheral arterial disease and Kidney disease. A 2 mm increase in systolic blood pressure increase the chance of death due to Stroke by 10% and heart disease by 7%..

provide a clear picture for an accurate diagnosis & management Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is done. It is a process in which your blood pressure is being continuously measured as you carry on with your routine activities. It uses a small digital blood pressure machine that is attached

Lifestyle modification to reduce high blood pressure

to your body. It is a better predictor of cardiovascular

Avoid tobacco

events than the random hospital BP measurement.

Weight reduction – Maintain BMI less than 25 Regular physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes Consume diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and reduce intake of sodium by minimizing fast food & processed meat. Relaxation therapy / Stress busters


Common Medical Problems during Ramadan CONSTIPATION Constipation can cause piles (hemorrhoids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling. Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fiber in the diet. Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti. INDIGESTION AND WIND Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas. Remedy: Do not over-eat; drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods; add ajmo or aniseed to windproducing foods. LETHARGY ('low blood pressure') Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with "low blood pressure". This tends to occur towards the afternoon. Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake. Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake. Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadan. They should consult their doctor. HEADACHE Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with "low blood pressure", the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar. Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganize your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep. LOW BLOOD SUGAR Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical

activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar. Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially during the meal before Dawn (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop. Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks. Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor. MUSCLE CRAMPS Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods. Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates. Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor. PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS & HIATUS HERNIA Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend up to the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions. Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadan. KIDNEY STONES Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquid to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation. JOINT PAINS Causes: The increased pressure on the knee joints during Salat. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort. Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs. Being physically fit allows greater fulfillment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salat with ease.

Starcare in

NEWS Experience World Class Obstetric & Gynaecology Care

Our New Doctor

Dr. Vishalakshi

MBBS, MD (OBG) Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Dr. Vishalakshi has over 15 years experience in Obstetric & Gynaecological services. She is trained in Gynaecological endoscopy from France and associated with prestigious medical and research institutes.

Win your Gift QUIZ CORNER

Answer the questions below

You enter a deserted house late at night. Inside there is an oil lamp, a gas fire and a stove full of wood. You only have one match however, so which should you light first? What substance weighs more in its liquid form than in its solid form ? What occurs once in June, once in July, but twice in August?

Send in your answers at and the winner will get a GIFT VOUCHER.

*Conditions apply

Your feedback and opinions are important to us. Kindly write to us

For more information on our hospital Visit:, E-mail: Contact: +968 24557200, GSM: +968 98252030, P.O.Box: 198, PC 101, As Seeb, Sultanate of Oman

Disclaimer This magazine does not attempt to endorse or promote any information presented. Please keep in mind that information about health matters changes constantly as new studies are performed and new treatments are discovered. Consult your physician or other health professional for your health related advice.




Health splash issue 07  

Starcare hospital online health magazine, issue 07 featuring articles on healthy living and tips for fasting during Ramadan. Article on hype...

Health splash issue 07  

Starcare hospital online health magazine, issue 07 featuring articles on healthy living and tips for fasting during Ramadan. Article on hype...