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March 27, 2019

Patients with kidney, heart diseases can fast with prior consultation: experts


March 27, 2019

National and international health specialists have said patients with mild to moderate kidney disease, those with cardiovascular issues as well as diabetics could keep fast in Ramazan without any trouble if they get prior consultation and structured education from their physicians, get their medicines doses adjusted, monitor their health in the holy month and eat balanced diet with plenty of water to keep themselves hydrated from Iftaar till Sehri.

“Studies conducted in Turkey, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan have proved that fasting has no detrimental effect on patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) who keep fast in the month of Ramazan,” said eminent physician Prof Rayaz Malik, a UK-trained specialist who is now associated with Cornell University Qatar while speaking at the 5th International Diabetes and Ramadan Conference, which concluded here at College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSP) on Monday.

The conference was organised jointly by the Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) and the Karachi and Ramadan and Hajj Study Group in collaboration with the Diabetes and Ramadan (DAR) International Alliance.

Islamic scholars and health experts from the United Kigdom, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey and several Far Eastern and African countries gathered at the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) and discussed the issues facing millions of diabetics, heart and kidney patients and pregnant women who would be fasting in the coming Ramazan and need advice on safe fasting.

UK-trained professor of medicine and diabetes Dr Riaz Malik stunned the participants of the conference when he claimed that three limited studies had showed that there was no detrimental effect of fasting on patients with Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD), even those who were having haemodialysis but called for conducting more studies on effects of fasting on patients with kidney issues so that millions of patients could be benefitted.

Senior cardiologist Dr Kaleemullah Shaikh from Liaquat National Hospital spoke in detail about the benefits of fasting for patients with cardiovascular diseases, saying that fasting results in reduction in cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and weight loss which ultimately lowers the risk of heart attack and other complications of the cardiovascular disease.

“Studies have shown that fasting helps in better management of hypertension and if blood pressure is lowered by two degrees only, it reduces the risk of heart attack significantly. Fasting also reduces triglycerides and helps in weight loss, which is beneficial to the heart health,” he maintained.

Eminent Islamic scholar and Mufti Najeeb Khan from Darul Uloom Karachi said doctors had the authority to permit and disallow fasting for people with health issues. He added that people should listen to their doctors as they knew better who could keep fast safely.

He clarified that several health interventions, including get ear and eye drops, getting blood sugar monitored by pricking, getting insulin and getting intravenous or intramuscular injections did not result in breaking the fast.

“I want to make it clear that getting ear and eye drops, getting injections in the veins or muscles and tooth extraction does not result in breaking the fast. Checking blood sugar by pricking is also permitted in the fasting,” Mufti Najeeb said and added that in life-threatening situations, patients could break their fast and they would only have to offer ‘Qaza Roza’.

“If a pregnant woman feels that continue fasting could harm her or her baby’s health or life, she can break fast. Similarly, diabetics whose sugar drops to alarming levels where doctors have permitted them to break their fast, they can do so.”

Earlier, Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University Lahore Prof Khalid Masood Gondal said diabetes and Ramazan conferences had been helping millions of Muslims in safely fasting for the last several years as scholars, both Islamic and medical experts from all over the world, presented their research and advised people on how to remain healthy and fit while fasting.

Deploring that quacks were misleading the people of Pakistan, especially diabetics, he said awareness, prevention and early diagnosis of diabetes as well as several other diseases could help a large number of people in recovery. He added that Islamic scholars and doctors should approach as much people as possible and answer their queries.

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