'Fasting, sports and medicine

26 June, 2018

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DR Ahmed al Hamdani, medical physician, EIM Department at Aspetar, has prescribed a combination of fasting, exercising and medicine during Ramadan to help prevent chronic diseases and associated complications provided that patients consult with their physician, dietitian or ask exercise specialists.
Hamdani said that fasting can improve psychological, mental and spiritual health.
He said while some people focus on fasting bodily effects only, the EIM programme focuses on the importance of exercise as a key element to strengthen muscles and alleviate chronic diseases and their associated complications.
Hamdani urged patients with chronic diseases to see a doctor to discuss their medical condition before fasting, adding that patients with diabetes decision to fast without prior consultation might lead to the discharge of some hormones that burn fats and increase the levels of blood glucose.
To alleviate the negative effects, he said the patient would be required to change the type and doses of medications, and regulate them between iftar and suhour.
Hamdani explained that exercising positively changes psychological and physical health and improves the quality of life of patients with chronic diseases, which helps them lead a normal life.
He noted that its best to practice low to medium training during Ramadan, such as walking or cycling and avoid exercising during the day, as it would dehydrate the body and decrease blood pressure.
Hamdani also noted the importance of maintaining regular sleep cycles between six to eight hours a day and refraining from exercising in hot weather as this may cause a sudden decrease in glucose levels in the blood. He also recommended drinking of plenty of water between iftar and suhour.
"From a medical perspective, patients with diabetes should not continue fasting if they develop certain symptoms that indicate they are suffering from low or high blood glucose such as dizziness, severe hunger, excessive sweating or urinating," Hamdani said.
He added,"If the person determines that his/her level of glucose is low, less than 70 mg/dl, he/she should drink a cup of fresh juice or eat sweets to regulate it; while high levels, above 300 mg/dl should be regulated by taking necessary medications. In both cases, it's recommended to visit the nearest emergency centre to do tests and receive treatment."
Recent research has shown that exercise helps prevent several chronic diseases by controlling weight, thus preventing obesity-related risks. And that's just one benefit of exercising regularly. It also decreases the chances of developing diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels; protects from cardiac diseases; reduces the risk of breast and intestinal cancer, osteoporosis, fractures and dementia; and can substantially reduce stress and depression.
During Ramadan, Aspetar will launch awareness campaigns on nutrition, research, exercise, dentistry and other disciplines where experts will provide a range of tips for people who are fasting, promote healthy lifestyle and encourage prevention.


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