6 tips for migraine patients when fasting during Ramadan
Migraine is a specific type of headache triggered by certain factors and usually occurs in the form of episodes. These episodes vary in duration and can stretch from 4 to even 72 hours if left untreated. A migraine initially affects one side of the head but may spread to the other side depending on the severity.
Patients with an existing history of migraine are more susceptible to experiencing an increase in the frequency of migraine episodes during Ramadan due to the following reasons:
- A decrease in body fluid levels, leading to dehydration.
- A change in sleep cycle resulting in fewer hours of sleep.
- A sudden decrease in the intake of caffeine, particularly the morning coffee.
- A drop in blood glucose levels during the day, especially in the hours just before Iftar.
Here are a few tips to prevent migraines when fasting during Ramadan:
- Avoid salty and processed foods as they cause water retention, which can increase the risk of migraines.
- Get at least 6 to 8 hours of comfortable, uninterrupted sleep each night to prevent the incidence of migraine episodes.
- Consume legumes and vegetables rich in dietary fibers as these store fluids that help keep the body hydrated throughout the day.
- Limit the intake of sugar and carbohydrates as these cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels which can trigger migraine episodes.
- Drink plenty of fluids and limit the intake of caffeinated beverages as these have a diuretic effect and can lead to dehydration, resulting in migraines.
- Build up a tolerance for lack of caffeine by preparing for Ramadan in advance. This can be done by gradually reducing your caffeine intake over a period of time to prevent caffeine withdrawal which can cause migraines.