MOH News

Dr. Al-Nemr: “Fasting is Heart-Healthy in All Respects”
12 June 2016

Dr. Khalid Al-Nemr, a Consultant and Professor of Cardiology and Arterial Catheterization at the College of Medicine, pointed out that fasting is heart-healthy in all respects; since it lowers blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, tension, anger, and agitation, as well as it helps control them. “Fasting is good for 90% of heart patients, while some other patients are not advised to fast, especially those with severe heart attack, stages 3 and 4 of heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, acute arterial ischemia of 3rd and 4th stages and uncontrolled hypertension,” Al-Nemr Said.

He advised heart patients to visit their doctors before the advent of the holy month of Ramadan; in order to evaluate their conditions and figure out if they are fit to fast or not, indicating that fasting might be of positive or negative effects based on the patient's condition, so s/he should visit his/her doctor before taking the decision to fast. The heart patients are preferred to discuss their conditions with the doctor before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, especially those having the following diseases: Artery diseases, narrowing and expansion of valves, weakened heart muscle and hypertension. 

This came while hosting Dr. Khald bin Abdullah Al-Nemr at the program: "Hello, Healthy Ramadan", which is organized annually during the holy month of Ramadan by the Ministry of Health's (MOH) National Center for Information and Health Promotion, via the toll free number: 8002494444.

On the precautions to be taken by heart patients during fasting, Al-Nemr warned against taking the pressure drugs immediately after breaking the fast; because this may lead to low blood pressure (hypotension) especially for cases of dehydration. Also, he warned against high-salt foods, and advised to divide the meals into small and diversified amounts over the evening. 

He underlined the importance of following the treating doctor's directives regarding taking the heart drugs during Ramadan, saying that aspirin should be taken in general after the breakfast while pressure drugs are to be taken after Taraweeh prayers and the remaining medications should be divided over the evening. He advised the heart and pressure patients to eat food that is low in fat and salt and a lot of vegetables and fruits, and to avoid foods that are high in fat.

“High blood lipids (blood fats) during Ramadan are not due to fasting but to the types of food eaten by the patient after breakfast, including foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar,” Al-Nemr highlighted.

Regarding the main health rules to be followed by heart patients during Ramadan, Al-Nemr advised the heart patient to start his/her breakfast with a cup of water with some dates or juice, and then to have a wheat soup that is low in fat and salt before performing the Maghreb prayer. After that, s/he should complete his/her breakfast with different kinds of snacks in small amounts throughout the rest of the night, and it is advisable to exercise when the body's fluids return to their normal level.

At the end of his speech, Al-Nemr advised those patients with heart problems and hypertension intending to perform Umrah during Ramadan to get permission from their doctors firstly, and to start the rituals in the evening or during the day time on condition that they are not fasting. Also he advised them to avoid crowded areas, not to exhaust themselves, and to perform Tawaf and Sa'i on wheel chairs. “If the patient feels pains or in case of any emergency, s/he must stop immediately, call the ambulance, place nitroglycerine pill under the tongue,” said Al-Nemr, highlighting that patients should not exhaust themselves in worship and expose themselves to peril; because Islam is a religion of ease.



Last Update : 28 June 2016 02:18 PM
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