The Muslim Fast and our Body-Supplements and Drugs while Fasting
Supplements and Drugs while Fasting
when fasting the stomach and intestines become somewhat more sensitive than they are when we are eating all the time. What this means is that foods we react to will have a greater amplitude of the same reaction we have while not fasting. A far as supplements are concerned, the more concentrated ones may not agree very much with the digestion while fasting so for most people, it would be best to cut down supplements to the minimum.
As for those on medications, here are the adjustments that may be
Diabetics on hypoglycaemics or insulin: When fasting the blood glucose level will go down so if you take a dose during the pre dawn meal, you may go into hypoglycaemia in the day time. Symptoms would include vertigo, cold sweating and feeling faint. Those who take 2 dose a day will need adjustment of the predawn dose. A reduced dose may also be needed. Monitoring blood glucose levels while fasting would help in the adjustments, involve your doctor in the adjustments. As for antihypertensives, it is probably ok to stick to the medication as before, those taking medication 3 times a day may need to change to longer acting versions of the drugs they are taking. Again talking to your doctor is going to help make the adjustments.
Antibiotics: Anybody who needs antibiotics while fasting should request for the antibiotics with a daily or twice daily dose. It would be a bit problematic to try to take 3 daily doses at night and not possible to adjust the dosing. Some antibiotics can cause crystals in the urine and cause pain when urinating because of the
no intake of water in the daytime. As such, please inform your doctor you are fasting and ask the doctor not to give such antibiotics. Those who are prone to urine infections may take urine alkalinizers, which are sold over the counter in pharmacies.Cornsilk and barley drinks would also be helpful to take.
About constipation: Vegetables and other complex carbohydrate foods are essential. Mild constipation can be dealt with by taking fibre preparations like psyllium husks, and there are some fruits like prunes and tamarind juice that can also help. Other than this there are some mild preparations like Forlax that are very safe to take when absolutely necessary. The other alternative is to go for enemas. Constipation should not be allowed to continue, as it will reduce the detox effect of the fast. The liver cannot unload its accumulated waste products if the person is constipated. Avoid tea because it contains tannin, which is astringent and tends to cause constipation if you are constipated. Those taking NSAID, ie painkillers may have much more gastric irritation on these and, if they have sensitive stomachs should change to less irritating drugs which your doctor will tell you about. It may cost more than the usual NSAID s that you are taking. Eg, you may change from diclofenac sodium a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory to a cox 2 inhibitor like meloxicam.
You may however want to try alternative treatment and now may be a good time to make the switch! The fasting time is also the best time to deal with your drug and food addictions! Since smokers and caffeine drinkers have to abstain while fasting, they will find that it gets much easier to keep delaying the coffee or cigarettes until they don’ t drink it or smoke it and it is time to fast again! Those who are really heavy smokers may need a little bit more help from the doctor by going on a nicotine patch or some other aids to stopping smoking. Many have asked me about taking injections. In general, injections according to the clerics
consulted are allowed while fasting, and there should not be a problem with this. Having said this, painkillers are still excreted to the stomach and taking such an injection on an empty stomach may cause a gastric irritation.