Kidney patients urged to take care if fasting
31 May 2017 - 1:11
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are urged to observe caution if fasting during Ramadan, as abstaining from food and water for long periods increases the risk of dehydration.
The month holds religious and social significance for Muslims all around the world and certain categories of people, including those who are sick, are exempted from fasting. However, many patients with chronic diseases still choose to fast despite their health condition.
Dr Ahmed Hamdi, Consultant at Hamad General Hospital’s Emergency Department, said: “Kidney disease patients may choose to fast but they should take into consideration the condition of their kidneys before fasting. For instance, there are different types of kidney disease and the severity of the disease can differ. Those patients suffering from acute kidney failure (the sudden loss of kidney function due to a direct injury or obstruction) are encouraged not to fast until they are fully recovered because fasting may cause further damage to their kidneys.”
Dr Hamdi noted that those with stages three or higher kidney disease are at greater risk of further renal failure if they fast, as their kidneys do not retain normal levels of fluid.
He added that end-stage renal disease/hemodialysis patients will need to receive IV fluids during dialysis treatment. “Patients who intend to fast should consult their physician and dietitian to ensure they have a plan to avoid complications while fasting,” he added.
HMC’s Clinical Dietitian Supervisor at Al Khor Hosptial, Dr Ghazi Dararkeh, said kidney patients should not skip the Suhoor meal. “It is important that patients with kidney disease eat more calories than individuals without kidney disease.”
Dr Dararkeh has provided the following tips to help CKD patients enjoy a safer fasting experience:
- Eat three meals a day (Iftar, midnight, and Suhoor) and two snacks in between.
- Avoid salty foods to help control blood pressure and thirst.
- Restrict the amount of high potassium foods eaten (dates - no more than three a day, bananas, apricots, figs, tomatoes, lentils, etc.). Eat less food which is high in phosphorus such as beans, nuts, dairy products and carbonated beverages.
- Delay your Suhoor meal to Fajr time.
- Consume sufficient amounts of protein.
- Consume slow-digesting, fiber-rich foods, such as whole-wheat bread, salads, and cooked vegetables.