With Ramadan starting this week, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland are urging practicing Muslims to make sure they keep healthy while fasting.
Because Ramadan falls in the UK’s mid-summer this year, when daylight hours are at their longest, their fast will be greater than for Muslims in more equatorial countries.
Many practicing Muslims will be observing this 30-day fast from dawn till dusk. Ramadan, as well as well as encompassing fasting, is a month of prayer and self-reflection and an opportunity to address physical, psychological and moral health.
West Leicestershire CCG, Leicester City CCG and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG are encouraging local people to use this fasting opportunity to have a healthy start during the holy month without running the risk of compromising their health.
Professor Azhar Farooqi, GP and chair of Leicester CCG, speaking on behalf of the three CCGs said: “Fasting is a physical and spiritual experience requiring a great deal of preparation, particularly considering the length of daylight in these summer months.
“Patients with any chronic illness or health complication should consult their GP or nurse prior to fasting to see if they can do so safely during Ramadan, before the fasting commences. Please discuss your medical conditions and explore possible changes to your medication or any other alternatives that doctors may suggest to suit your needs. Some groups are exempt from fasting, such as pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding, diabetics, the chronically ill and the elderly.”
Professor Farooqi, who is also Leicester City CCG’s clinical lead for diabetes, added: “Those who are injecting insulin, or on medication which can cause very low blood sugar, are advised not to fast, as the potential risk to health may be too great. People who have diabetes and are unsure should discuss with their GP if they are able to fast, and how they can reduce any risk of difficulties or complications.”
For more information on health advice, please see the NHS website:-