Non-urgent advice: We care about you staying healthy during Ramadan
In 2022, Ramadan will take place between the evening of Saturday 2 April and end on the evening of Sunday 1 May, followed by the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr.
The practice of fasting is an important part of Ramadan. This involves the complete abstinence from food, drink and smoking between dawn and sunset over the month. It’s also a time for self-reflection and evaluation.
Supporting you to have a healthy Ramadan
Do you take prescribed medicines?
Remember to continue to take prescribed medicines during Ramadan, but do check with your GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times you take them changed.
Do you have diabetes?
If you have diabetes and want to fast you should speak to your GP or diabetes nurse about the safest way to do this. There is an exemption for people with diabetes, especially if for those on insulin or who have any medical complications.
Attending medical appointments
If you have a medical appointment booked during Ramadan, it is very important that you attend. If you need to adjust the time of your appointment, please contact the relevant healthcare organisation to do so.
It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Those with increased risk of contracting Covid-19 should consider alternative options. These include those who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly.
What to do if you become unwell while fasting
The British Islamic Medical Association advises that if you become unwell during Ramadan, you should stop fasting and seek medical advice. You can do this by visiting 111.nhs.uk or your GP practice’s website or if you don’t have access to the internet, by calling 111 or your practice directly.
Having your Covid-19 vaccine does not break the fast
The British Islamic Medical Association has reviewed the evidence from Islamic scholars and confirmed that having the Covid-19 vaccine does not invalidate the fast. A spring booster Covid-19 vaccine is now being offered to those aged 75 and older, as well as other clinically vulnerable people. When invited, we encourage you not to delay having your spring booster vaccine during Ramadan. In addition, the vaccine does not contain pork or other animal, foetal or alcohol products – this reflects the advice of the majority of Islamic scholars that it is permissible.
Senior NHS figures have also stressed the importance of getting the vaccination. The safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk from the virus is by having a vaccine when you are offered it by the NHS.
The month will end with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr which is due to be marked on Monday 2 May, and ending at sundown on Tuesday 3 May, subject to the sighting of the new moon. It’s traditionally a celebration involving meals, parties, and visiting family and friends and attending special prayers in mosques.
Advice for people with diabetes on how to stay healthy during Ramadan can be found on the Diabetes UK website. There are also factsheets available in several different languages.