Posted: Friday 26th May 2017
In 2017 Ramadan is observed between today, Friday 26 May, and Saturday 24 June and looks due to coincide with an unusual seasonal heatwave.
The greatest risk of fasting during high temperatures is of de-hydration. It's important to stay hydrated during Ramadan. Replenishing your liquids during the evening will allow your body to rehydrate and help keep you cool during the day.
Typically, we should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks all count. You should drink more if it is very hot.
Some groups of people may be more susceptible to the effects of de-hydration while fasting. According to Islamic Law, those who are sick, pregnant or breastfeeding women don’t have to fast, but may choose to do so.
Sometimes dehydration can become so bad that it is wise to break the fast. Poor hydration can be made worse by weather conditions and even everyday activities like walking to work or housework.
If you produce very little or no urine, feel disoriented and confused, or feel faint as a result of dehydration, you should stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. If a fast is broken, it can be compensated for by fasting at a later date when temperatures are cooler.
Professor Virginia Murray at Public Health England advises:
“If you start to feel unwell, disoriented or confused, or collapse or faint, you should stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. This is especially important for older adults, those with poorly controlled medical conditions such as low/high blood pressure, diabetes and those who are receiving dialysis treatment. The Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that breaking fast in such conditions is allowable under Islamic law. Also make sure to check on others in your community who may be at greater risk and keep an eye on children to ensure they are having a safe and healthy Ramadan.”
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