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.
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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,
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
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.
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MBBS, MD (OBG)
MBBS, MD, DNB
Published on Aug 5, 2013
Starcare hospital online health magazine, issue 07 featuring articles on healthy living and tips for fasting during Ramadan. Article on hype...