During the holy month of Ramadan, more than one billion people around the world fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, drink, and oral medications. Patients with chronic conditions are excluded from fasting, yet the majority choose to do so. Fasting usually lasts 15 to 16 hours, with two meals consumed during the night. To minimize issues, people with cardiac problems should take extra precautions when fasting during Ramadan and consult their cardiologists, especially when it comes to deciding the right timing and dosage of their medications.
Who should keep Ramadan Fast?
Fasting is not recommended for certain cardiac patients, such as those with Type I Diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes), heart patients on anticoagulation, heart patients on antiarrhythmic treatment, open-heart surgery patients, patients with severe heart valve disease, patients who have had a heart attack within the last 6 weeks, heart transplant patients, and heart patients with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, leg swelling, and uncontrolled congestive heart failure. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, patients with chronic stable heart disease who have no symptoms should visit their cardiologists to change the schedule and quantities of their cardiac medications.
Individuals with stable heart problems who do not experience repeated symptoms like chest discomfort or shortness of breath do not experience any detrimental effects from fasting. Fasting may, in fact, be good for them. Lowering food consumption, quitting smoking, which relieves the body of tobacco's detrimental effects, and the stress-reduced atmosphere linked with Ramadan will reduce heart disease risk in general, as well as have a good influence on persons who already have heart disease.
Medicines during fasting hours
Depending on your prescription, if you're on cardiac medication and want to forgo taking oral tablets between dawn and dusk, your doctor may be able to prescribe versions with longer-lasting effects for the duration of Ramadan. Connect with the best doctor in Abu Dhabi to check ahead of time to see if this is possible. Remember that if you don't have any other options, you might not be able to avoid taking medication during your fasting hours.
For patients who are fasting, here are some cardiac recommendations:
- Take advantage of Ramadan to change your risk factors.
- Eat healthy by eating four little meals a day (rich in water, fruits, and vegetables) rather than three large, fatty, salty meals.
- Sweets should be avoided. During Iftar, eat 3-4 dates and start with salads before the main meal.
- Try to stick to one big meal during Iftar.
- Consume a small supper of fruits, vegetables, and yogurt 30-60 minutes before Azan for Suhoor.
- Healthy soups, such as vegetable grain-based soups, should be preferred over creamy soups.
- Maintain a healthy level of hydration.
- Maintain an exercise routine that includes at least 10,000 steps every day.