Getting through Ramadan with ulcer
Peptic ulcers are open sores on the mucus lining of the stomach or upper intestine. Ulcers are caused by bacterial infections, smoking, long-term painkiller use, and overeating fatty, acidic, and spicy meals. Peptic ulcers cause stomach pain, heartburn, and lack of appetite. Long-term fasting worsens these symptoms. This would make Ramadan more difficult.
If you have a peptic ulcer, your ability to fast during the holy month is determined by your ulcer's severity, type, and timing. You should know which foods cause ulcers. If you choose to fast throughout Ramadan, here are some tips to help you manage your ulcer pain:
Do not skip meals: Avoid missing meals, especially Suhoor. Eating slow carbohydrates first thing in the morning will provide you with sustained energy throughout the day. If you do not have much of an appetite in the morning, a glass of milk, a few almonds, and some dates are advised. Chicken is great for individuals who consume heavier breakfasts. To avoid feeling dehydrated during the fasting hours, drink at least two to three glasses of water before you begin fasting.
Take your time while breaking your fast: Coconut-coated dates with laban, avocado juice with fruits or dried fruit, or soups are excellent choices for breaking your fast. Your meals should have a decent balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
Foods need to avoid: Fasting can increase stomach acidity, giving a burning sensation and heaviness. Eating meals high in fibre can help prevent this. Avoid fried meals, spicy foods, salty foods, and foods high in sugar. Sweets can induce indigestion, heartburn, and weight gain and should be avoided, especially on an empty stomach.
What to drink: Avoid consumption of caffeinated beverages (even decaffeinated teas, coffees and sodas). Caffeine removes calcium from your system, making you feel less full. Avoid tea during Suhoor as it stimulates salt excretion in the urine, which the body needs when fasting. If you are feeling thirsty, consider adding a piece of lime, strawberries, or even mint to your water.
Work out (mildly): Light exercise is also advised to maintain your body flexible and healthy. Drink plenty of water after you break your fast.
As fasting is obligatory for Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan, most Muslims like to keep fasting. However, those with ulcers who want to fast in Ramadan should follow a healthy diet that is less spicy, fatty and acidic to ease their ulcer symptoms.
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