Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Common Upper Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Review of the Literature

Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Department of Nutrition, Gorgan, Iran

Abstract

Introduction: Ramadan is the ninth month of Muslim's calendar during which Muslims fast. Ramadan lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. Fasting during Ramadan has significant health effects. The present study aimed at reviewing the literature of the impact of Ramadan fasting on upper gastrointestinal disorders. Methods: MEDLINE and Google Scholar were searched  by using ((“Ramadan” R   fasting”) AND( "Upper Gastrointestinal Tract" OR "Gastrointestinal Diseases" OR "Dyspepsia" OR "Gastroesophageal Reflux"  OR "Peptic Ulcer" OR "Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage")) as keywords in the title and abstract. Relevant, non- duplicate full articles written in English were reviewed. Results: Gastric acid and pepsin secretion increase during Ramadan fasting, probably associated with dyspeptic symptoms. Regarding peptic ulcer frequency, results are inconsistent. However, peptic ulcer complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding and peptic ulcer perforation increase during Ramadan fasting. Conclusion: Fasting during Ramadan seems to be beneficial for healthy individuals, but in people with gastrointestinal disorders, it might be harmful as it increases the risk of complications. Therefore, taking medical advice before Ramadan fasting is highly recommended to people suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms.

Keywords


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