The Health Ministry on Monday advised patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) to reduce consumption of salt and fried foods during Ramadan. The announcement is part of the ministry’s annual health-and-safety awareness program conducted during the holy month.
A ministry official said hypertension patients should consume low-fat dairy products because they contain yeast that helps lower blood pressure.
He urged such patients to see a doctor before commencing a fast to determine their ability to do so. They are also advised to take medication to treat hypertension directly after Taraweeh prayers so the body can recover enough fluids following breakfast.
Patients who forget to take such medication are advised to do so whenever they remember on the the same day. If they remember the next day, they should not double the regular dose.
Dr. Abdul Hameed Hassan, a consultant at the International Medical Center in Jeddah, said: “It seems as though many people in modern societies are living a life that leads to hypertension. As people age, the situation gets worse. Nearly half of all elderly people have hypertension. This disease makes people more prone to strokes, three times more likely to have a heart attack, and two to three times more likely to experience heart failure.”
Studies indicate that foods that are high in fat, especially saturated fat, can cause hypertension, as can using a lot of salt.
Obesity, lack of exercise, high caffeine intake, smoking and high cholesterol are also causes.
There are ways to treat hypertension and still lead a normal life. There are many different types of medications called anti-hypertensives on the market today that can treat it. Doctors can assess appropriate dosage