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                                        Dr RICHARD's Desk - August 2010
Reviewed   3  May  2021      

                             Ramadan Fasting and Health

THE MAJORITY of studies relating to fasting during Ramadan have found metabolic changes but few if any chronic health problems arising from Fasting, especially in healthy people.

Medication Compliance   Patients often do not know how to alter their medication regime during Fasting. Some simply cease taking their regular medication.

Dehydration Restricted fluid intake during Fasting leads to dehydration, most commonly in manual workers. Symptoms include a racing pulse, severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, malaise, vomiting and even rarely circulatory collapse. Long term health effects are unlikely. Middle-aged and elderly persons are more prone to the effects of dehydration

Increased irritability, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, headaches, lassitude and lack of motivation can be expected from much of the work force. Irritability is worse in males. Low blood sugar, dehydration and sleep deprivation cause these symptoms. No coffee or cigarettes may well be contributory factors.
Ramadan buttons
Cognitive function may decrease with deteriorating completion of complex tasks.

A non significant loss of body mass is a frequent (often positive) outcome of Fasting.

Accidental injuries increase during Ramadan.

Pregnancy   Pregnant women who Fast are more likely to have smaller babies which may in turn be more prone to learning disabilities in adulthood. Pregnant women are 10 per cent less likely to give birth to a male if they Fast.

Breast Feeding    Lactating women should be excused from Fasting during Ramadan.

Diabetes    Change in diet and not taking medication as prescribed during Ramadan may affect diabetics. Most well controlled diabetics can cope with Fasting but caution is needed. Diabetics needing insulin should not Fast.

Heart disease    There is no increase in acute cardiac events during Ramadan.

Peptic ulcer complication    An increased rate of peptic ulcer complications and an increased incidence of indigestion may occur during Ramadan.

Kidney Stones   No significant increase related to Fasting despite dehydration.
Ramadan young girl
     Diet   Some Fasting effects can be improved by diet. Ramadan meals should be well-balanced but include more slowly digesting foods lasting up to 8 hours e.g. high fibre foods such as grains and seeds. Special festival foods which are high in fat, protein and sugar should be reduced.

     Productivity of some businesses falls during Ramadan due to fewer work hours, absenteeism, and sick leave – up to 78% reduction recorded in one Egyptian study

     Crime Rates    House break-ins and robberies increase during Ramadan when extra money is needed for the anticipated Hari Raya expenses.

     Traffic Accidents increase as drivers speed home to break their Fast. Despite what you might think most Muslims with a predominantly sedentary occupation have few problems or significant clinical symptoms caused by Fasting during Ramadan.

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                             Do you Suffer from Laptopitis ?
"Can't you leave the computer at work instead of being married to it and taking it on our vacation?"   is no longer an uncommon complaint. The ubiquitous laptop is now used in Blonde with laptopevery conceivable situation and that is causing physical symptoms. While using a laptop in an unsuitable place e.g. in bed, the user often sits with an inappropriate posture so they can see the screen. Physical symptoms often follow.

Headaches, neck pain and stiffness and dry irritated eyes are the most frequent complaints. Back pain and wrist pain are less common

HOW TO REDUCE LAPTOPITIS: First raise your chair so that your elbows are in an 85-110 degree range and your wrists are level.

     Are you tilting your head down to see the screen? Look down with your eyes while holding your head slightly more erect.

     Look at the screen as little as possible while you work. Move and rotate your head from side to side and back and forth. Curl and uncurl your spine by gently arching and rounding your back and neck.

     Use a laptop-stand for convenience.

     Use a docking station or use an external monitor that can be adjusted to the correct height i.e. the top of the screen is at eyebrow level.

     Move your head, neck and back every 15 minutes e.g., imagine a pointer at the top of your head and draw figure "8" on the ceiling while relaxing your shoulders.

     Relax your shoulders and arms every minute or so e.g. drop your hands to your lap after hitting return and then continue to type.

     Install a reminder program such as "Stretch Break" (

Learning to type efficiently rather than "search and peck" helps as well.

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                             Peanut Allergy – Not the Danger Often Claimed
Peanut allergy is a frequent parental worry. A seemingly common problem in children but in reality it is not very common and usually is not dangerous. About 1% of children have a peanut allergy with verpeanutsy few having a severe allergy.

Most peanut allergy reactions are mild. Easily treated symptoms usually include an itchy rash, abdominal pain and vomiting. The risk of a fatal allergic reaction in children is remote. Severe peanut allergy reactions are more common in adolescents who react to very small quantities of peanuts.

There is no need to avoid eating peanuts during pregnancy or breast feeding in the hope peanut allergy in offspring will be prevented. Best management is be informed, be able to recognize allergy symptoms, avoid peanuts and peanut products and be reviewed by an allergy specialist if you have ever had a severe reaction. In about 20% of cases the risk of a peanut allergy reduces with age. Severe sufferers should have access to an "EpiPen' to self inject if a reaction starts.

Children under 6yrs should not eat peanuts anyway. The risk of choking, of peanuts being stuck up noses and in ears or severe lung irritation from peanut oil is greater than an allergic reaction.

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joke optometrist      Is there any hope for humanity ?
Ask a silly question ! A patient consulted his Eye Doctor. The Receptionist asked him why he wanted to consult the doctor. The man complained "I keep seeing spots in front of my eyes."

The receptionist asked "Have you ever seen a doctor?" 
The patient replied "No, just spots."    True story !

If you have any suggestions or topics you would like discussed please contact me:
Dr Richard Tomlins

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Dr Richard Tomlins
If you have any suggestions or topics you would like discussed, please contact me:
     Dr Richard Tomlins


Ramadan Fasting & Health

Do you suffer from Laptopitis ?

Peanut Allergy

Is there any hope for humanity ?