Ramadan health guidance

Muslims gather to pray Credit: Marcus Brandt/DPA/Press Association Images

Worshippers at Birmingham's Central Jamia Masjid Lozells mosque will be invited to take part in a special health session today designed to help them stay healthy during the holy month of Ramadan.

The biggest health risk during the month, when Muslims fast between the hours of sunlight, is low blood sugar, which occurs when the level of glucose in the blood drops too low. Symptoms can include blurred vision, anxiety and a loss of concentration. Severely low blood sugar can result in loss of consciousness and seizures.

NHS guidance on fasting:

A balanced food and fluid intake is important between fasts.

People fasting should have at least two meals a day.

To prevent muscle breakdown, meals must contain enough energy food, such as carbohydrates and some fat.

Complex carbohydrates like basmati rice, lentils and beans release energy slowly during the day.

People fasting should be careful not to overeat before and after the fasting period to avoid putting on weight.

Start the evening meal with a drink of water which will help avoid the temptation to overeat.

Avoid caffeine-based drinks which increase water loss.

After a few days of the fast, higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood, making you more alert and giving an overall feeling of general mental wellbeing.

People with diabetes or other health conditions should consult their doctor before fasting.