Health alerts for the elderly in the month of Ramadan

A wide segment of the elderly suffers from many diseases, most of which are chronic, which requires special care in Ramadan and following methods that help them to fast. The elderly are more vulnerable to some health problems during fasting, especially since the body’s immunity weakens with age. Fat, lack of body mass, and because of all of this, metabolism decreases in the elderly, and the elderly need special care and nutrition during the holy month, especially those who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, as proper nutrition for them is essential to protect them and maintain their health from diseases. The elderly, before starting the fast, should consult their treating physician to decide whether their condition allows them to fast or not. He also adjusts the doses and times of medications according to the hours of fasting.

Who is the elderly?

An elderly person is someone over the age of 65, according to the World Health Organization.

Fasting is allowed for the elderly in cases where they do not suffer from any chronic diseases, and also for those who can fast without getting tired or endangering their health. Elderly fasting people must pay attention to appropriate nutrition because proper nutrition is a basic pillar that provides the fasting people in general, and the elderly in particular with energy. And help them to fast for long hours

Nutrition consultants stressed the need for the elderly to pay attention to the diet in Ramadan and the quality of the foods they eat by avoiding sugars as much as possible and paying attention to eating fresh vegetables and fruits as they are rich in fiber and eating foods rich in mineral elements and antioxidants such as legumes, nuts and dates and drinking plenty of water and useful fluids and ensuring a variety of table. Suhoor to include vegetable protein such as beans, protein such as eggs and yogurt, and foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as green salad. Neglecting the suhoor meal is one of the things that negatively affects the fasting of the elderly, as it serves as the basic criterion for human activity during the day, and it is better to pay more attention to it and take into account it, so that The elderly remain in full force and activity during the fast

Among the most important positive benefits of fasting this holy month:

  • Preserving the youth of the body, fighting aging, and combating the appearance of its symptoms.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Stable blood sugar levels.
  • Prevention of some types of cancer.
  • Activate and improve brain functions.
  • Increase energy physical activity.
  • Help reduce weight.
  • Improve heart health and blood pressure.
  • Boosting the immune system.
    “Fasting the month of Ramadan is a mental exercise as well as a physical exercise, and some differ in how to prepare psychologically and physically to start fasting.” However, sometimes doctors give a set of important recommendations to the elderly when fasting the month of Ramadan. This is to ensure that fasting is safe for them and that they are free from diseases that may worsen during the fasting period.

Examples of recommendations and tips that must be followed are as follows:

  • Preparing the body gradually for fasting before starting the fast, while not overeating in the previous nights.
  • When eating breakfast, start with dates and milk, or soup, to prepare the digestive system to receive food.
  • Divide meals during breakfast into several small, high-calorie meals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during the iftar period to avoid dehydration.
  • Do not drink too much water or liquids at one time.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine sources. This is because caffeine increases thirst during the fasting period.
  • Include wholegrain sources at breakfast or suhoor such as wholegrain bread, brown rice or oatmeal.
  • Eat adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits.
  • Get enough protein sources such as low-fat milk, eggs and nuts.
  • Take the body's need only from food sources and avoid excessive.
  • Doing light exercise, such as walking, that does not require physical effort.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, especially during the day and fasting. to avoid dehydration.
  • Choose the appropriate daily program based on sleeping and eating times.
  • Talk to your doctor if you feel tired or weak.
  • eat slowly at breakfast; To avoid digestive problems.
  • Suitable for food softness according to the elderly's ability to chew, digest and swallow.
  • It is recommended to focus on taking many nutrients, especially iron, calcium and vitamin B12
  • Avoid eating fatty and fried foods .
  • Avoid salty and sugary foods.
  • It is advised to maintain collective family meals, as social factors have a direct impact on the level of nutrition and the psychological state of the elderly.

When should the elderly stop fasting?

It is necessary, before making a decision to fast or not, that every elderly person conducts the necessary analyzes and examinations with the advice of a specialist doctor. To avoid the occurrence of unsatisfactory consequences after fasting, "and the jurists agreed that the old sheikh, who is exhausted by fasting and finds it difficult to fast, may break his fast in Ramadan, and if he breaks his fast, he must pay a ransom. It is His Eminence and ease of Islam that allowed exemption from fasting for those with chronic diseases, and yet many insist on fasting despite From their knowledge of the health hazard that fasting may cause to the deep faith in their feelings that rush to respond to the imposition of fasting, even if it is hardship.

However, caution must be taken when any emergency health symptom appears, such as: fatigue, dizziness or dehydration, sharp or noticeable drop in pressure and sugar. You must stop fasting and go to the doctor immediately.

May you always be under the patronage of the Most Gracious and his guardians, and every year and you are a thousand good, Ramadan Kareem

Consumer Awareness Department