Mubarak dehydration month

Ramadan is certainly happening at the worst possible time this year, maximizing the number of hours people feel religiously required to go without water. That’s unhealthy at best and dangerous at worst – especially dangerous for people who do physical work in the heat.

The Independent takes a wrongheaded approach:

As the world’s one billion-plus Muslims gear up to fast over the next month during Ramadan – one of the five pillars of Islam – there is some concern this year may be particularly challenging with followers required to go without any food and water for some 17 hours a day as a test of personal strength and communication with Allah.

However, if done right – and if Muslims have been preparing their minds and bodies in the run up to the holy month kicking off this week – Ramadan can, surprisingly, have many health benefits.

Don’t do that. Don’t minimize the risk. The risk is very real and shouldn’t be brushed aside for the sake of an upbeat story.

This whole thing is just a big mistake. No doubt Mohammed didn’t realize how dangerous dehydration is, but that is now well understood, so the part of Ramadan that mandates no drinking whatever not even water should simply be done away with. No religion should mandate that all its followers spend 40 days a year risking their lives to obey a bad wrong rule.

Despite potentially feeling some heartburn, irritablity, dehydration, and a decline in concentration levels – which are expected – Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anaesthetist from Oxford, has helped the NHS to map out a guide to successful fasting during Ramadan, and says the time of year isn’t always thought of as a way to lose weight because the spiritual aspect is emphasised more than the health aspect, However, he adds: “It’s a great chance to get the physical benefits as well.”

Bad writing there. The first few words should be “Despite the potential for fasters to feel.” That aside – this is bad policy. Medical people should just be saying “drink water.” The NHS shouldn’t be colluding with a religion by telling people how to refuse water for 17 hours a day “successfully.” Mahroof should not be lumping dehydration in with irritability or saying people may feel it – it’s not just something you feel, it’s something that can kill you.

Here’s all the NHS says about the danger of going without water all day:

It’s also worth avoiding caffeine-based drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination.

“It’s important to have some fluids with vitamins, such as fruit juice or fruit. Some people have isotonic drinks (such as Lucozade) to replace any lost salts.” [quoting Dr Mahroof]

Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence.

That’s it. It mentions rehydration but not dehydration.

Back to the Indy’s shit coverage:

One of the common misconceptions about Ramadan is that all Muslimsmust take part. However, this is not the case for the ill or vulnerable and there are exceptions, including for pregnant women, the elderly, and the particularly young. So, for those who are taking part this year, there are some health benefits that can be reaped from fasting if done right and mainting a good diet outside of sun-up and sun-down times.

There may be some health benefits but there are much more serious health risks, which the Indy doesn’t mention.

As well as this, a few days into Ramadan, the body begins to adjust to its new eating and drinking pattern as higher levels of endorphins appear in the blood, making fasters more alert, happier, and giving an overall feeling of better mental health.

Now that’s really fucked up – the Independent is telling people that abstaining from water for 17 hours will make them more alert and happier.

I suppose Allah is having a good laugh about all this. While drinking lemon-infused water.

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