Health Effects of Fasting In Ramadan

Essay by akioog12College, UndergraduateA-, November 2014

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Akio Ohtake-Gordon

March 28, 2014



Ramadan, not Rad, Man

During the blessed ninth month of the Lunar Calendar, practicing Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. Considered the fourth out of five pillars that are mandatory to follow and establish a foundation to a submissive life to God and to the religion of Islam, Ramadan is a sacred sacrifice every Muslim must make. The Fast of Ramadan is sunrise to sunset, and the only members of the Islam religion that are exempt of the fourth Pillar are children and people who are ill/elderly. All healthy and capable Muslims are expected to fast daily during Ramadan. Because the fast begins from dawn to sunset for the entire month, as a practicing Muslim you must eat and drink before dawn then eat and drink again after sunset1.

Contrary to many Muslims' beliefs, the sunrise to sunset fast during Ramadan can have challenging effects. Fasting is used under the care of medical providers for various reasons including weight management, rest of the digestive tract and for lowering lipids. However medical fasting is shorter and differs from Islamic fasting and the dichotomy between the positive and negative effects of Ramadan should be further analyzed. Ramadan may have significant beneficial effects for the spirituality of the Islam religion, but the implications on health should not be ignored. Ramadan can affect workplace performance, drug compliance, cardiovascular risks, body image, weight, and BMI of medical patients. Health effects include but are not limited to; heat stress, dehydration, migraines, Tachycardia, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and circulatory collapse, weight fluctuation, sleep disorders2.

Ramadan is considered to be a lesson of self-restraint; voluntarily stopping something that keeps you alive shows how much...