Kidney, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes patients can fast safely with prior consultation: International experts
KARACHI: National and international health specialists said that patients with mild to moderate kidney disease, those with cardiovascular issues as well as diabetics could keep fast in the month of Ramadan 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 after Iftar till Sehri timings.
“Studies conducted in Turkey, Saudi 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 Ramadan”, said eminent physician Professor 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 Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE), Karachi and Ramadan and Hajj Study Group in collaboration with Diabetes and Ramadan (DAR) International Alliance.
Islamic scholars as well as health experts from United Kigdom, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, as well as several Far Eastern and African countries gathered at the college and discussed the issues facing millions of Muslim diabetics, heart and kidney patients and pregnant women who would be fasting in the coming holy month of Ramadan and need to know advises on safe fasting.
Uk-trained professor of medicine and diabetes Doctor Riaz Malik stunned the participants of the medical 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 benefited.
Senior cardiologist, Doctor Kaleemullah Shaikh from Liaquat National Hospital spoke in detail about benefits of the fasting for patients with cardiovascular diseases, saying 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 for the heart health”, he maintained.
Eminent Islamic scholar and Mufti Najeeb Khan from Darul Uloom Karachi said doctors have the authority to permit and disallow fasting for people with health issues and added that people should listen to their doctors as they know 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 does 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”, he informed.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University Lahore Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal said Diabetes and Ramdan conferences for the last several years are helping millions of Muslims in safe fasting as scholars, both Islamic and medical experts from all over the world present their research and advise people on how to remain healthy and fit while fasting in the month of Ramadan.
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 and added Islamic scholars and doctors should approach as much people as possible and answer their queries.
Director Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) Karachi Professor Doctor Abdul Basit said Pakistan needs trained primary-care physicians who get Diploma and Certificate courses in different specialities including diabetes and claimed that in the presence of such trained and skilled physicians, quackery could abolish from Pakistan.
Lauding the suggestion of certificate courses for the primary-care physicians, he offered his Institute and University’s support in preparation of curriculum, training of faculty, saying with the help of 115 clinics in Pakistan, they brought down amputation rate drastically in Pakistan but added that Pakistan needs 3000 such clinics to help millions of diabetics in Pakistan.
Several other health experts including honorary President International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Professor Samad Shera, renowned gynaecologist Doctor Shabeen Naz Masood, Doctor Asma Deeb from United Arab Emirates, Doctor Uzma Khan from United Kingdom, Doctor Abdul Jabbar and Professor Yakoob Ahmedani also spoke to the ceremony.