Dealing With Stomach Aches By Changing Eating Habits During Ramadan

Many people experience stomach pain at one time or another, however, during the holy month of Ramadan, it is a common complaint among worshippers. These complaints tend to increase with changes in diet. In order to get rid of the problem of persistent pain and stomach aches, the source must be determined. Once the source is identified, certain medications prescribed by doctors can relieve the pain, although certain foods and herbal teas may help for a while.

With the problem of stomach aches and pains, it is important to pay attention to specific symptoms and conditions such as bleeding, weight loss, jaundice, loss of appetite, feeling like something is stuck in the throat, early satiety or anemia. If these conditions are present, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Mustafa Kaplan, Associate Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology at Memorial Kayseri Hospital, explained the reasons for the discomfort and treatment methods.

In sahur, attention should be paid to such factors as eating foods that are light and do not strain the stomach. (Sabah file photo)

Light iftar, sahur

Changes in the number of meals and different meal times during Ramadan can cause stomach problems.

Stomach pain is one of the main complaints of this period. In sahur (the last meal before dawn before the start of the daily fast) and iftar (a dinner to mark the end of the daily fast), care should be taken to consume foods that are light and do not tire the body. stomach but keep you full. It’s also important to use the right cooking methods, consume food more slowly, and pay attention to fluid intake.

However, despite all precautions, stomach aches may not go away. It is very important to get expert help at this stage.

Origin of pain

Soreness and pain felt in the upper part of the abdomen, near the diaphragm, above the area also known as the breastbone – or breastbone – is often referred to as an upset stomach.

The pain usually starts at a single point and can spread to the back, right or left, and sometimes to the chest. It can be excruciating and can be a constant long-term pain.

The source of pain is determined by its character, spread, occurrence when hungry or full, and accompanying conditions.

In iftar meals, one should try to avoid acidic drinks and heavy foods.  (Sabah file photo)

In iftar meals, one should try to avoid acidic drinks and heavy foods. (Sabah file photo)

Many conditions can lead to the symptom of upset stomach and this can be accompanied by several other different symptoms.

  • For those with stomach pain, nausea and sometimes vomiting can be felt along with the pain.
  • If the cause of the pain is reflux, complaints such as heartburn or reflux of food, difficulty swallowing, coughing, hoarseness, and tickling in the throat may also occur.
  • The pain of stomach ulcer usually increases in the state of hunger, usually at night.
  • In diseases involving the pancreas, back pain and girdle pain are very prominent.
  • There is usually severe pain in the upper right side after meals in cases related to gallstones.
  • If stomach pain is accompanied by pain radiating to the left arm and neck associated with conditions such as difficulty breathing and sweating, a heart attack should definitely be kept in mind.
  • Stomach aches sometimes also cause headaches.
  • Due to increased intra-abdominal pressure during pregnancy, reflux and stomach problems and stomach pain increase.

take it seriously

Although pain in this area is often described by patients as stomach pain, other problems can also cause this pain.

Gallstones, pancreatitis, heart pain and muscle pain can cause stomach pain. To make this distinction, it may be necessary to perform an ultrasound, endoscopy and electrocardiogram (ECG), as well as blood tests.

If the pain persists for a long time, does not go away with simple home remedies, and there are conditions such as bleeding and weight loss, which are described as “alarm symptoms”, it is absolutely necessary to go to the hospital, warns Dr. Kaplan.

Chewing gum between iftar and sahur can bring some relief.  (Sabah file photo)

Chewing gum between iftar and sahur can bring some relief. (Sabah file photo)

Relief methods

Stomach pain may be felt from time to time. First, there are several simple methods that can be tried and applied at home to relieve pain. If the complaints do not go away, a doctor should be consulted.

  • If the patient has a stomach ache for the first time, if the complaints are few, such as once or twice a week, he can temporarily use chewable tablets or syrups called antacids – which have the active ingredient alginate and sodium bicarbonate which suppress reflux. Most of these syrups actually contain baking soda. For this reason, a mixture made by adding a spoonful of baking soda to a glass of water at home can often be good for the stomach.
  • Gastric protective drugs that suppress stomach acid – such as those in the proton pump inhibitor group – can also be started once daily before sahur on an empty stomach, after consulting a doctor. If these drugs need to be taken, it is recommended that they be used continuously for a month. The effect of these drugs usually begins in three to five days.
  • During Ramadan, one should try to avoid acidic drinks and foods against reflux and stomach ailments, reduce the consumption of tea, coffee, cigarettes and alcohol, raise the head of the bed and not lie down immediately after eating.
  • Chewing gum is good for the stomach, but if the gum is sweet or watered down, it can cause gas. Chewing gum between iftar and sahur can bring some relief to the stomach.
  • It is recommended to stay away from clothes that tighten the abdomen; loosening the abdominal area can also help.
  • High fat meals should be avoided as they can increase the pain associated with gallstones.
  • Sport and exercise are good, but strenuous exercise can also cause intra-abdominal pressure and increase stomach upset.

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