Over 100 people were admitted to the emergency department of a Doha hospital suffering from abdominal pains after the first night of Iftar during Ramadan, with other patients also suffering the effects of dehydration and kidney problems, it was reported on Tuesday.
“After Iftar on the first day of Ramadan, we saw large number of patients, which is usually the case during this period every year. Among them were 103 patients, who complained of abdominal pains, while some 62 patients complained of different forms of trauma,” Dr Warda Ali al-Sadd, chief consultant of the emergency department at the Hamad Medical Corporation told the Doha-based Gulf Times newspaper.
“Usually during summer we receive many patients having GE (gastroenteritis) and because many people tend to eat a lot during Ramadan, they usually fall victims of food that are not properly stored and which has got some bacteria accumulated on it. The people then suffer diarrhoea, stomach upset and vomiting after eating such food,” she added.
Other ailments reported by the department, which treats 1,500 patients a day, include those suffering from dehydration as a result of fasting.
“We have also received many patients suffering from renal colic due to a combination of dehydration, hot weather and fasting and triggered by their kidney or urethral stones,” Al-Sadd said.
However, she pointed out the number of heat exhaustion cases was so far less than that observed during Ramadan last year.
“The number of cases of heat-related illnesses seen last year, especially during Ramadan, was higher than what we are recording this year… Last year we had received more cases,” she said.
The report comes as a Dubai-based doctor urged Muslims with type 2 diabetes to fast during Ramadan in a bid to improve their health and reduce their body weight.
“Unfortunately many Muslim patients, and Muslims in general, tend to overeat upon breaking their fast, and usually the meal involves heavy, fatty foods that are high in calories,” said Dr Al Madani, CEO of Dubai Hospital.
“Overweight Muslims with diabetes should take advantage of Ramadan, as excess weight and obesity are closely linked to this disease, and weight reduction leads to improved health,” he added.
Obesity and diabetes are major healthcare issues in the Middle East. Earlier this month research published by BMC Public Health found Qatar, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain ranked among the world’s top ten most overweight nations.
In a bid to remain healthy during the holy month, Al-Sadd said those fasting should watch out for symptoms like severe pains or bloody urine.
“Anyone suffering from renal colic should drink plenty of water during both Iftar and Suhoor and they should observe strict compliance to their medication routine if on prescribed drugs,” she advised.