During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims are obligated to fast every day from dawn to sunset. As important as this fasting may be, exceptions are made for persons in particular circumstances. For several groups for whom fasting would be excessively problematic, among them are people with medical conditions, children below adolescent age, Diabetics patients and nursing or pregnant women, menstruating women, those in battle, and travellers who either intend to spend fewer than five days away from home or travel more than 50 miles.
If the circumstance preventing fasting is temporary, a person is required to make up for the missed days after the month of Ramadan is over and before the next Ramadan arrives. Should the circumstance be permanent or present for an extended amount of time, one may recompense by feeding a needy person for every day missed. With the numerous benefits attached to fasting in the month of Ramadan, no Muslim would want to miss out on some of these benefits. With more attention on Muslims with health conditions who are still contemplating whether to proceed to fast or not, City People reveals what those battling with ailments such as Ulcer, Diabetes, Hypertension, Sickle cell disease and Epilepsy could do to participate in the on-going Ramadan.
(1) Muslims with peptic ulcer disease: is a condition in which painful sores or ulcers develop in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain in the centre of the tummy (abdomen). But stomach ulcers aren’t always painful and some people may experience other symptoms, such as indigestion, heartburn and feeling sick. Muslim who usually experience this type of health conditions can still observe fasting in Ramadan by avoiding spicy foods, do away with tea and coffee, fatty or fried foods stay clear of carbonated drinks. They are advised to take yoghurt or milk and get long-acting ulcer medication after sahur.
(2) Muslim with Diabetes: this is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Of course this battling with diabetes is exempted from fasting but they can still find their ways around fasting by avoid foods like Amala, Garri, wheat, semo, Starch, Pounded Yam, Akpu. This is because they contain high glycaemic index. Other things they must do are to avoid sugary fizzy drinks, stop medication that can lead to low sugar in the blood, talk with their doctors to prescribe medications that won’t lead to low sugar as well as monitor blood sugar regularly and reduce too much carbohydrate diet during iftar.
(3) Muslim with Hypertension: High Blood Pressure is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. To avoid these risks patients with Hypertension should avoid diuretics (water pills/tablets) to avoid water loss, meet you doctor to change drugs to once daily medication and take a log of your Blood pressure readings regularly.
(4) Muslims with Sickle cell disease: Sickle cell an inherited red blood cell disorder in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. It is vitally important that sickle cell patients who intend fasting maintain a healthy diet and keep fully hydrated. Failure to do this can precipitate a painful sickle cell crisis.
(5) Epileptic patients controlled on medication, the medication needs to continue to be taken regularly otherwise it can be very difficult to bring the condition back under control. Such persons are advised not to take the risk of fasting.