Fasting during Ramadan is an opportunity to rest the digestive system from its continued work throughout the year. Fasting has many benefits in the treatment of numerous chronic diseases. It can reduce the risk of obesity, psychological pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, kidney problems and heart disease.
While fasting is not possible for all patients with liver disease, there are some patients who can benefit from fasting. For them, fasting can also be an important weight-loss tool. Patients with liver disease who wish to reduce their weight during Ramadan are advised to avoid foods that contain fat and are also advised to limit the use of corn and olive oils in the preparation of food.
There are two main types of liver disease – fatty liver disease and inflammatory fatty liver disease. Patients with liver disease are generally divided into three groups. The first group is patients who suffer from chronic inflammation of the liver because of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or other chronic liver diseases. This group of patients is normally able to fast, especially in cases where there is the existence of natural enzymes in the liver. However, fasting should be undertaken with proper treatment as defined by one’s physician. The second group is patients with simple cirrhosis of the liver, with normal liver function. These patients are normally able to fast, provided they do not experience any complications. The third group includes patients with advanced cirrhosis of the liver. These patients are generally not able to fast due to required therapies.
Patients with ascites, hepatic coma, blood vomiting and those with late stage fibrosis, as well as patients who are at high risk for low blood sugar, are also advised not to fast.