Avoiding dehydration in Ramadan

Press release
Published August 18th, 2011 - 07:59 GMT
Sherif Afifi, Health Expert at Bupa Arabia
Sherif Afifi, Health Expert at Bupa Arabia

As Ramadan falls into the peak of summer this year, fasting Muslims around the country should therefore pay special attention to their fluid balance and diet throughout the holy month. This was highlighted by Bupa Arabia, the first specialized insurance provider of the Kingdom who raises awareness on health issues that are of concern to everybody. 

“Usually fluid intake during hot weather needs to be increased. Heavy sweating removes essential salt and minerals from the body and must be replenished. Balanced fluid intake and diet can have a positive effect on your body’s fluid balance,” said Dr. Sherif Afifi, Health Expert at Bupa Arabia. “Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk.” 

Many people tend to gain weight throughout Ramadan, due to the changed regime which is mainly due to lethargy, lesser physical activity, heavy meals and decreased fluid intake.

An important rule is not to miss Suhour, as it energizes the body to go though the whole day till Iftar. During Iftar water and dates supply the body with an energy rush. Soups such as lentil and vegetable soups are recommended because they provide the body with iron, calcium and vitamin A.  Spicy and fatty foods should specially be avoided as they induce thirst.

In Ramadan, two liters of water intake is recommended daily. Dehydration occurs when more fluid are lost than consumed, and the body does not have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Common causes of dehydration include intense diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating without water replenishment.

Thirst is not always the most reliable indicator for dehydration. A better indicator is the color of your urine. Clear or light-colored urine means well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.

Various symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration can be, dry mouth, thirst, sleepiness, dry skin, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness constipation and decrease in urination. Moderate dehydration can be usually reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.

Symptoms of severe dehydration are usually extreme thirst, sunken eyes, sleepiness, irritability and confusion, dry mouth and skin, lack of sweating, little or no urination, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, fever, and in the most serious cases unconsciousness. Severe dehydration should be treated as an emergency as is can lead to serious complications, including kidney failure leading to coma and death.

Children, workers and people performing Umrah are especially at risk of dehydration and can benefit from Bupa Arabia’s ongoing awareness programs. The first specialized medical insurance provider in Saudi Arabia, fulfils its promise to be the healthcare partner for life through medical expertise provided by its doctors and healthcare experts.

Bupa provides its members with health awareness seminars and raise awareness on pressing issues such as diabetes, breast cancer and obesity among many others in order to provide its members assurance through the expertise provided.

Bupa Arabia members benefit from the 24/7 helpline and can seek advice and assistance from the Doctor on the Phone service.

Background Information

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance

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