A lot of people suffer serious headaches during Ramadan, particularly in the first few days of the holy month. There are many reasons for these headaches, but we will try to highlight the main ones that are most closely linked with fasting. We will also suggest some helpful ways to avoid headaches.
Our brain cells need oxygen-filled haemoglobin. They also need basic sugar, i.e. glucose, as well as a regular metabolism. During the holy month of Ramadan, our blood sugar levels are lower than on normal days due to fasting and this is the main reason for headaches before iftar; the headache reaches its highest level a few hours before iftar.
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Interestingly, the main reason for headaches after iftar is the fact that people tend to eat large quantities of food, which causes more blood to pump through the digestive system, thereby considerably reducing the blood for brain cells, and oxygen and glucose likewise, as a result of which headaches happen.
Headaches can also be caused by other factors such as problems during the sleeping hours for some fasting people who spend long hours in front of the TV. This has a negative impact on the brain and on body rest, provoking a general feeling of debility along with terrible headaches.
Furthermore, some people are addicted to drinks like coffee and tea, and stopping these habits suddenly reduces their caffeine levels. This also results in a lack of concentration and can cause headaches as the body detoxifies.
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To avoid headaches during Ramadan, we should follow some advice. Doctors insist on the following:
- Keep regular times for Suhoor and push it back as late as possible, as it includes high levels of sugar. People suffering from diabetes need to attend regular check-ups with their doctors to adjust their medicine doses, times and meals. Be sure to eat some beans during Suhoor as they keep the glucose level in your blood steady for a long time, which enables you to stay on your feet all day long.
- Gradual reduction of stimulants, i.e. caffeine, so that people who are used to having it daily will reduce the caffeine levels in their blood gradually, and avoid the sudden reduction that leads to bad moods during the fasting days.
- Taking a sufficient dose of vitamin B2 can prevent headaches caused by hunger, while vitamins G and H also help reduce the effect of headaches.
- Try to get 7 hours’ sleep per day, as it has been proven that people tend to experience bad moods and a weak physical condition if they sleep for less than 5 hours.