The stomach is no excuse to avoid fasting


KUALA LUMPUR: Having stomach problems shouldn’t be an excuse to avoid fasting which is the third pillar of Islam, said nutritionist assistant professor Dr Norazmir Md Nor.

He said that those who have been suffering from stomach trouble for some time should instead make certain preparations, to allow them to fast without any problem.

“Long before Ramadan, they should get used to refraining from eating, maybe start with half a day and gradually extend the time. Indirectly, by doing this, the stomach will slowly adapt to the decreased activity of enzymes during the fast.

“This is the reason why fasting should be encouraged from an early age, it is to get the body used to not having food for a while,” he recently told Bernama.

At the same time, he said, those with stomach problems should eat the right kind of food and practice eating in moderation when breaking the fast and during the sahur or pre-dawn meal. .

“During the sahur, avoid hot, spicy and fatty foods as well as drinks rich in caffeine such as tea and coffee.

“When breaking the fast, he is encouraged to have the snacks before enjoying a heavy meal and to drink plenty of plain water to avoid dehydration,” said Norazmir, from the Universiti Teknologi Mara, Faculty of Sciences of health.

According to him, gastritis occurs because gastric juice in the stomach is secreted to digest food at a certain time and as we fast, the enzyme would still be released even in small amounts, causing stomach pain.

A gastric patient, Khairul Anwar Mat Hassan, 35, admitted that he only experienced stomach problems during the month of Ramadan, but that did not prevent him from fasting.

Khairul, an entrepreneur from Pasir Puteh, Kelantan said his stomach problems started in 2007 while he was still studying at a tertiary institution and was caused by stress and the practice of skipping meals.

“To make sure that I can continue to fast, the doctor advised me to change my diet, my eating habits and provided me with antacids which will help neutralize the acid content in the stomach”, a- he declared.

However, the situation is quite different for another victim, Norida Mohammad Nasir, 42, who has a severe stomach problem who sometimes had to skip the fast because of the unbearable pain.

“My stomach problem was due to the migraine medications which had caused ulcers in the lining of my stomach. When I have a stomach attack, I will experience heartburn, stomach cramps, chills and nausea, ”said Norida who had had an endoscopy.

She said she had been advised not to fast for fear it would lead to more serious complications, but she still tries to fast as much as possible. – Bernama

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