MOH News
Dr. Abu Sab‘ah: “No Medical Dangers Posed by Fasting to Asthmatics”
13 July 2013
As part of the annual program of the Media and Health Awareness Information Center at the Ministry of Health (MOH), and under the motto: “Hello, Healthy Ramadan”, the Center hosted Dr. Yahya Abu Sab‘ah, a Consultant in Respiratory Diseases. He pointed out that patient suffering from severe and chronic asthma can often fast, but he has to drink a big amount of fluids; in order to avoid dehydration and extreme fatigue, which may increase the patient's allergies. The same case applies to patients suffering from bronchial expansion, who are advised to drink adequate amounts of fluids.
Furthermore, Dr. Yahya has stressed that: “Emergency and therapeutic invasive sprays such as ventolin inhaler (salbutamol substance) or any other similar types available at markets don’t break the fast. Therefore, they can be used when necessary at any time during daytime in Ramadan.” He continued: “Organized sprays, which contain long-acting bronchodilators and cortisone at certain doses taking the form of gas, can be used during daytime in Ramadan.”
Moving on to the irritants affecting asthmatics, Dr. Yahya said:“Asthmatics may be affected by various factors  such as exposure to dust, dirt, smoking types, incense and its smoke, smoke from coal and wood, and different chemicals like household cleaning substances, cooking odors, as well as perfumes.” He went on adding that: “The presence of domestic animals such as cats, rabbits and birds inside the house, in addition to some kinds of trees, may cause increased allergies.”
Within the same vein, Dr. Yahya stated that asthmatics should avoid exposure to these factors, and they should treat the nasal allergy, excessive acidity of the stomach and vomiting; because they are among the chest irritation factors.
In response to a question on whether certain foods are useful for the treatment of asthma, Dr. Abu Sab‘ah was quoted as saying, “There are some types of herbs and food that have a role in calming nasal and chest allergies in general, including mint (taking the form of food, drink, or steam), as well as chamomile flowers.
Finally, Dr. Abu Sab‘ah has advised the asthmatics wishing to travel to consult a specialist physician and take the adequate amount of medicine and sprays, mainly the emergency medication such as bronchodilators that must be carried around for usage when needed. Moreover, he advised them to avoid exposure to chest irritants; that is to be added to taking seasonal influenza vaccination; in an endeavor to maintain good immunity against influenza which may increase chest allergies.

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