Sun, 29 April 2018
Dr Nader Albert Hanna, nephrology consultant at Royal Bahrain Hospital, sheds light on the effects of fasting on those with kidney ailments.
Patients with illnesses are commonly exempt from fasting, a religious duty during The Holy Month of Ramadan. Many studies claim that patients may be able to fast when suffering from chronic kidney disease but these have typically applied to countries where temperatures differ significantly from the Middle East. Therefore, different physicians may not give the same advice.
Patients who have received kidney transplants and have a normal graft function can fast safely. The results of studies done on such patients have shown that no organs were rejected, nor were impairment of kidney functions observed.
In countries where Ramadan falls in summer, patients with nephrology ailments are at risk of suffering from dehydration and increased stone formation. They may experience symptoms that signify that the kidneys are not functioning well. Patients who undergo haemodialysis treatment may also develop increased potassium levels in the blood, and lower than normal amounts of sodium in the blood, during and after their period of fasting. Some also experience very high blood pressure.
There are a number of conditions that patients should be aware of, for which extra precautions should be taken during Ramadan. These include diabetes insipidus (a condition causing harmfully excessive urination and increased thirst), hypertension, acute infections, cardiovascular disorders, liver disease, stomach ulcers, angina (chest pain caused by heart diseases), uncontrolled diabetes and postural hypotension.
For further inquiries on this matter, consult Dr Nader Albert Hanna at Royal Bahrain Hospital.