Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Navigating health challenges during fasting: insights and remedies

Fasting generally offers mental and physical vigor. However, despite its benefits, some individuals may encounter health challenges while fasting. Let’s delve into these issues and their remedies.

STOMACH BURN

Some experience severe stomach pain and bloating while fasting, compelling them to break the fast early. Temporary relief through excessive antacid use is common but often inadequate. Understanding the root cause is crucial.

As per the individual’s temperament (mizaj), bile juice, which aids in digesting fat and meat, is produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder. During fasting, bile production continues despite the absence of food, leading to a burning sensation in the stomach due to its hot and dry nature. Those affected should consume a substantial (non-vegetarian) supper, including chicken, eggs, beef, etc., and hydrate adequately during meals.

Home remedy: Grind 10g each of coriander and cumin. Consume half an hour before and after breaking the fast. Additionally, consuming yogurt during supper can be beneficial.

CONSTIPATION

Improper digestion often leads to constipation, a prevalent issue during fasting. Individuals should assess whether their body tends to be hot or cold and adjust their habits accordingly. For instance, those prone to stomach burn and quick digestion, indicative of a hot temperament (mizaj), should hydrate throughout meals. Conversely, individuals with indigestion, allergies, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should consume water only after eating, prioritize physical activity, and ensure adequate sleep to facilitate digestion.

Home remedy: Consume 2 tsp of ghee with half a glass of milk or warm water before bedtime.

ALLERGY ISSUES

Allergy-related symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and nasal congestion are common during fasting. The abrupt consumption of cold foods and beverages during iftar exacerbates these issues.

Cold-natured foods like watermelon, lemon, and bananas, when consumed excessively, can worsen phlegm-related problems in allergic individuals. They should moderate their intake of such items and opt for small bananas, watermelon, and shammam seasoned with chat masala or black pepper powder.

Home remedy: Consume dry ginger coffee (chukku coffee) or qahwa drink twice daily.

Dr. Sayed Anas (BUMS) is a medical officer.

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