Although Muslims do not fast in the holy month of Ramazan for medical reasons, fasting in the holy month of Ramazan has hundreds of health benefits – for both the physical and mental well-being of people, especially those suffering from diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, depression and other diseases, local and international health experts said at a conference on Sunday.
However, the experts advised people with health problems to seek education and medical advice on safe fasting before Ramazan.
“Scientific evidence shows that fasting promotes blood sugar control and health by fighting inflammation, improves heart health by improving blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol, increases brain function, prevents neurodegenerative disorders, and supports weight loss by helping limits caloric intake and stimulates metabolism and increases growth hormone secretion, delaying aging, helping cancer prevention and improving the immune system, “said Dr. Adel Abdel Aziz El-Sayyed during his lecture on the final day of the Seventh International Diabetes and Ramadan Conference on Sunday.
The two-day online conference organized by the Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) Karachi in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the Ramazan and Hajj Study Group and the Diabetes and Ramadan (DAR) International Alliance addressed by diabetologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists and researchers from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and the United States, including Prof. Yakoob Ahmedani, Prof. Shabeen Naz Masood, Prof. Muhammad Hassanein from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr . Salma Mehar from Great Britain, Dr. Mehmet Akif Buyukbese from Turkey, Dr. Abdul Jabbar from the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Mafauzy Mohamed from Malaysia and Dr. Tark El Hadd from Qatar, Prof. Najmul Islam and Prof. Aijaz Vohra.
Dr. El-Sayyed claimed that the health benefits of fasting were not mentioned in the Quran and hadiths and that Muslims consider fasting a religious instruction. However, if a person wanted to know about the health benefits of fasting, they should google it and there would be billions of answers appearing on their computer screen within a second.
“It is important for Muslims, in order to reap the mental and physical benefits of fasting, that they observe the holy month and practice abstaining from overeating and various other social evils as directed in the Quran and Sunnah He remarked.
Dr. Ebaa Al Ozairi, from Kuwait, said that fasting in Ramazan has numerous mental health benefits as it improves self-control, improves mood, and relieves a person from anxiety and depression. She added that behavior changes like quitting smoking were one of the main benefits of fasting in Ramazan, which helped thousands of Muslims quit smoking and have other addictions.
“Fasting in Ramazan is very useful in overcoming depression, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Depression is twice as common in diabetes and could be an obstacle to self-management, which is a must for better blood sugar control, “she said, adding that in addition to depression, fasting prevented many other psychiatric and mental disorders ranging from stress to to suffering ranged to anxiety and mood disorders.
Islamic scholar Mufti Irshad Ahmed Aijaz of Darul Uloom Karachi, who is also a member of the Shariah Advisory Committee of the State Bank of Pakistan, said Islam offered a lot of relaxation to its followers in the holy month of Ramazan and those who were seriously ill or traveling were released from quick observation, adding that people need to speak to qualified doctors for advice on whether or not to fast safely.
“Here I want to make it clear that Islam wants people to kill themselves. If a person is in a life-threatening condition, they should not fast on the advice of their doctor, otherwise they may break quickly if their health worsens. Checking blood sugar by pricking the finger and injections does not lead to fasting, ”the spokesman said.
BIDE Director Prof. Abdul Basit said people often asked what to eat during Ramazan and he told them that the holy month taught us to limit our food intake and donate as much as possible.
“People in our country do not die from hunger, but from overeating, obesity and other diet-related diseases. We urge people to follow true Islamic rules and to follow the advice of medical experts in the holy month, ”he added.