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Safe Ramadhan for Seniors | Frequently Asked Questions

01:24 AM Mar 03, 2024 IST | DR. ZUBAIR SALEEM
safe ramadhan for seniors   frequently asked questions
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Dr Zubair Saleem

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As we approach the Holy month of Ramadhan, many of my patients express concerns about fasting safely and maintaining their health during this period. It’s crucial to address these concerns with care and consideration, especially for individuals managing health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Even if you have fasted in previous years, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before Ramadhan begins. This is particularly important if you are taking medications for chronic conditions, as fasting can affect your health and medication schedule.

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Allah encourages us to prioritize our health, and seeking medical advice is a way of fulfilling this duty. Listening to your body and heeding the advice of your doctor are essential steps in making informed decisions about fasting. Your doctor can assess your health status, review your medication regimen, and provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs and circumstances. Remember, taking care of your health is a form of worship, and Allah rewards those who prioritize their well-being.

If your doctor determines that fasting is safe for you and recommends it, then you should feel confident in observing Ramadhan. However, if fasting poses a risk to your health or if your doctor advises against it, it is permissible to refrain from fasting.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

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Is it safe for senior citizens to fast during Ramadhan?

Fasting during Ramadhan can be safe for senior citizens, but it’s essential to consider individual health conditions. If you have pre-existing health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, or gastrointestinal problems, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor before fasting. They can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and current health status.

 

Can medications be taken while fasting?

If you have a medical condition that requires regular medication, it may be necessary to adjust your medication schedule during Ramadhan. It’s crucial to consult with your doctor to determine the best approach for managing your medications while fasting. In some cases, medications may need to be taken before dawn or after sunset to ensure they are effective and safe.

 

How can I stay hydrated during fasting hours?

Senior citizens are more susceptible to dehydration, so it’s essential to prioritize hydration during non-fasting hours. Drink plenty of water and other hydrating fluids such as fresh fruit juices and herbal teas between Iftar (breaking the fast) and Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks, as they can contribute to dehydration.

 

What foods should I eat during Suhoor and Iftar to maintain my health?

During Suhoor, choose foods that provide sustained energy and essential nutrients to help you stay energized throughout the day. Opt for complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats, such as whole grains, eggs, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. For Iftar, focus on hydrating foods and beverages, such as water-rich fruits and vegetables, soups, and smoothies. Avoid overeating and opt for balanced meals that include a variety of food groups. Moderation is the key.

 

How can I manage fatigue and low energy levels during fasting?

Fatigue and low energy levels are common during fasting, especially for senior citizens. To manage fatigue, prioritize rest and relaxation, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Pace yourself and avoid strenuous physical activities. Incorporate light exercise, such as gentle stretching or short walks, during non-fasting hours to boost energy levels.

 

Are there any signs or symptoms I should watch out for during fasting?

Pay attention to your body and watch out for signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or other health concerns during fasting. Symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, confusion, excessive thirst, and fainting may indicate dehydration and require immediate attention. If you experience any concerning symptoms, break your fast and seek medical help if necessary.

 

How can I ensure a healthy and balanced diet during Ramadhan?

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet during Ramadhan is essential for senior citizens. Focus on portion control, moderation, and nutrient-rich foods to meet your dietary needs. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your meals. Avoid excessive consumption of fried and sugary foods, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

 

Is it permissible to break the fast if fasting poses a risk to my health?

In Islam, individuals who are ill or have health conditions that make fasting dangerous are exempt from fasting during Ramadhan. If fasting poses a risk to your health, it is permissible to break the fast and make up for missed days later or provide a meal to a person in need (fidya). Consult with religious scholars for guidance on your specific situation.

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