Friday 20 July 2012

Advice For Muslims With Asthma During Ramadan

Ramadan has just started for Muslims all over the world, and with it falling in the middle of summer, that means long days ahead for all taking part. With the lack of heat this year, not being able to drink won't be such a hardship, but Asthma UK has some useful advice for anyone wanting to observe Ramadan and avoid their medication throughout daylight hours.


Advice For Muslims With Asthma During Ramadan

Although Islamic rules state that people with long-term conditions are permitted not to fast, some Muslims with asthma still choose to observe Ramadan and many may consider using an inhaler to be breaking the fast.

People from South Asian communities are three times more likely than white people to have an emergency hospital admission for their asthma, despite the fact that the incidence of asthma in South Asian communities is actually lower than in the white population. Because of this it is especially important that South Asians look after their asthma over Ramadan.

Muslim people with asthma tell us that there is not enough information available about how they should alter their treatment during this time so Erica Evans, Clinical Lead at Asthma UK, offers the following advice for people with asthma who are observing Ramadan: 
  • Speak to your Imam for advice - if you choose not to use your inhalers in daylight hours it may be reasonable to take your preventer inhaler before sunrise and after sunset.

  • You should discuss your plans for Ramadan with your doctor or asthma nurse before making any decisions. They will help you adapt your medication if necessary. Do not stop taking your asthma medicine without speaking to your doctor first.

  • Even if you do not plan to use your inhalers, it is vital that you carry your blue reliever inhaler with you at all times as if you have an asthma attack it could save your life.

  • To help you monitor your asthma you should have a personal asthma action plan. This is a written plan, which you fill out in discussion with your doctor or asthma nurse, containing the information you need to control your asthma, details of your asthma medicine, key things to tell you when your asthma is getting worse and what to do if it does, as well as emergency information if you have an asthma attack.

  • If you have adjusted your medicines for Ramadan and you begin to feel worse, please see your doctor or asthma nurse as soon as you can.

  • Asthma UK has information about fasting and asthma, including advice for Ramadan on its website at 
Erica continues: 'If you have any concerns about how to keep your asthma under control whilst observing Ramadan you should contact your doctor or asthma nurse or you can call the Asthma UK Adviceline on 0800 121 62 44 and speak in confidence with one of our asthma nurse specialists.'

Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma.

If you are worried about your asthma or would just like to talk confidentially to a specialist asthma nurse, the Asthma UK Adviceline offers independent advice about asthma and provides a translation service in more than 100 languages. It is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm on 0800 121 62 44or alternatively you can email an asthma nurse at

The website also provides useful information including frequently asked questions in a number of South Asian languages including Arabic, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu and Punjabi

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