Printed on Fri May 27 2022 12:18:51 PM

What happens to your body when you are fasting?

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Every year millions of Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

In the northern hemisphere, summer fasting has been practiced for several years. As a result, Muslims in these countries have to fast for a long time in the heat.

In some European countries, one has to fast for twenty hours. But what effect does a month of fasting on Muslims have on their body?

But fasting does not affect the human body in that sense until eight hours have passed since the last meal.

The food we eat takes at least eight hours for the body to fully digest and absorb its nutrients in the stomach. When this food is fully digested, our body tries to extract energy from glucose, which is stored in the liver and muscles.

When the body starts consuming these fats, it helps us to lose weight. It lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of diabetes.

However, as the blood sugar level drops, it may cause a feeling of weakness and drowsiness. In some cases, there may be headaches, dizziness, nausea, or bad breath. At this time the body actually gets the most hunger.

After the first few days, when your body becomes accustomed to fasting, the body fat melts and turns into blood sugar. But since you can't eat or drink anything during the daytime of Ramadan, you must drink plenty of water during the time of iftar or Sheri.

Otherwise, you may suffer from severe dehydration. Especially on hot days if the body is sweating. And the food you eat should have enough energy in it. Such as carbohydrates or sugars and fats.

A balanced diet is very important, with all kinds of nutrients, protein or meat, salt, and water.

8 to 15 days of fasting:  At this stage, you can feel that your body and mind are feeling better, because your body has started to adapt to it.

Razeen Mahroof, the Consultant of 'Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge said, "It has other benefits as well. Usually, we eat a lot of high-calorie foods in our daily life and as a result, our body cannot do many other things properly, such as the normal body can heal itself."

"But since we are fasting during Ramadan, the body can then focus on other activities. So fasting is very beneficial for the body. It can help the body to heal wounds or prevent infections."

18 to 30 days of fasting: In the second half of the month of Ramadan, your body will adapt to fasting. Your body's digestive system, liver, kidneys, and skin will now undergo a kind of change. Get rid of all the contaminants and your body will be cleansed.

"During this time your body parts will regain their full function. Your memory and attention will improve and you will have a lot of energy in your body," says Dr Mahroof.

"It's not okay to rely on your meat for energy. When your body is 'hungry' it uses the muscles of the body for energy. And it happens when you are fasting or fasting for many days or weeks continuously."

"Since you do not have to eat during the day only during Ramadan, we have the opportunity to consume enough food and fluids or drinks to meet the needs of our body after breaking the fast. It protects our muscles and at the same time helps us to lose weight again."

So is fasting good for health?

"Of course, there is one thing," Mr. Mahroof said.

"Fasting is good for the body, because it helps us to focus on what we eat and when we eat. Fasting for one month is good. But it is not advisable to fast continuously.

"Continuous fasting is not a way to lose weight. Because at some point your body will stop melting fat and turning it into energy. Then it will depend on muscle for energy. It is not good for health."

Dr Mahroof's advice is that after the month of Ramadan, other types of fasting can be done from time to time. Such as the 5: 2 diet (eating less for five days and eating properly for two days).

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