Individuals while fasting may suffer headaches

Muhammad Qasim
Friday, Mar 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A number of people suffer headaches while fasting during Ramazan mainly because of hypoglycaemia (lowering of blood sugar) or change in sleep patterns however according to health experts, the headache during the fast or after ‘Iftar’ can be managed through proper diet particularly by using plenty of fluids at the time of ‘Sehr’ and ‘Iftar’.

It is also observed that many a people while fasting suffer dizziness that according to health experts is because of reduction in blood supply to the brain. The 14-hour long fast can cause mild to moderate and in some cases severe headaches. Majority of people suffering from headaches during Ramazan does not understand the phenomenon and hence are unable to find remedy to the problem.

Various studies have revealed that fasting during Ramazan is a significant precipitating factor for headache and the onset of headache often occurs in the afternoon or evening before ‘Iftar’. It is also witnessed that chronic patients of headache are more prone to have severe headaches while fasting however a number of people who experience headaches during fasting do not have any history of headaches or migraines. Health experts say that headaches during fasting can be managed with the help of proper diet. Intake of sufficient fluids at the time of ‘Sehr’ and ‘Iftar’ is one of the options to avoid headache. People who fast should try to take two-hour bed rest daily after 3:00 p.m to avoid headache.

Experts explain that during long hours of fasting, protein breakdown starts and ammonia and other nitrogenous chemicals are released that enter the brain and cause headache, drowsiness and lethargy. During fasting, blood gets concentrated, which causes problems for the patients of hypertension. People who suffer headaches during Ramazan should not eat too much at the time of ‘Iftar’ and they must avoid stomach distention.

Experts say that those who suffer headaches while fasting in Ramazan should take plenty of fluids between ‘Iftar’ and ‘Sehr’ and at the time of ‘Sehr’. Patients suffering from headaches should consult their physicians not only for treatment but also for a proper diet plan during Ramazan. Experts say that the factors that serve as triggers for headaches should be avoided. Dehydration is a common trigger and adequate intake of fluid between ‘Iftar’ and ‘Sehr’ and at the time of ‘Sehr’ can prevent headaches. People suffering from headaches in Ramazan should also try to avoid exposure to other triggers such as fluid retention, stress, fatigue and lack of sleep.

Studies reveal that the human brain is more than 75 per cent water, and it is very sensitive to the amount of water available to it. When the brain detects that the water supply is too low, it begins to produce histamines. This is essentially a process of water rationing and conservation, in order to safeguard the brain in case the water shortage continues for a longer period of time.