How Ramadan Fasting Helps Alleviate Arthritis Pain

A man who works at the local health center office could hardly get out of the chair. Then he would walk straddle-legged halfway across the room until he could loosen up enough to get his joints moving. His hands were so stiff he could not use his tools and he often dropped things. He thought to himself, “A man of 65 yrs shouldn’t be so crippled.” So he decided to do whatever it takes to get well. Now he pops out of the chair, walks without a bit of stiffness or pain and he handles his tools with no trouble.

What changes did he make to enjoy relief from arthritis? Among the main changes he adopted was fasting and eating more of a vegetarian diet.

Fasting is known to decrease intestinal permeability, thus making the gut “less leaky.” This may be one of the reasons fasting has been shown to dramatically benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis. An unhealthy diet containing dairy and other animal products causes inflammation of the intestinal surfaces and thereby increases the passage of dietary and/or bacterial antigens. HijamaHerbs sessions also help reduce inflammation in the body and show an improvement in arthritis conditions.

Government surveys indicate that in the US, approximately 33% of adults currently suffer from troublesome arthritis with symptoms of swelling, limitation of motion, or pain. And approximately 50% of all people over 65 years report having arthritis. The regions of the body most affected are the neck, lower back, hip and shoulder.

Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Unfortunately, the medical industry have no cure for arthritis. It is considered an “incurable disease”. 

The most common form of arthritis is a condition known as osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative ailment. It is mostly found in people living in modern Western civilizations. This form of arthritis is seen in X-rays of the hands of over 70% of people 65 years and older.

Strangely, this same disease is comparatively rare in African and Asian countries, where people physically labor to survive. How can that be? Osteoarthritis is said to be due to wear and tear on the joints, so why is it less common among hard working people of underdeveloped countries?

Arthritis is not a genetic disease, nor is it an inevitable part of growing older–there are causes for these joint afflictions, especially in our food.

Breaking fast in Ramadan is a delightful time for the family. It strengthens ties of kinship and brings family members closer together. As you have fasted from sunrise to sunset, it is important to keep your body hydrated by eating food with high water content. Have smoothies, fresh fruit juices and coconut water to stay hydrated. And eat more of a vegetarian style meal with whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits for better health. 

Some researchers believe rheumatoid arthritis did not exist anywhere in the world before 1800. It is well documented that these forms of arthritis were once rare to nonexistent in rural populations of Asia and Africa  As recently as 1957, no case of rheumatoid arthritis could be found in Africa. That was a time when people in Africa followed diets based on grains and vegetables.

These once unknown joint diseases are now becoming common as people migrate to wealthier nations or move to the big cities in their native countries. With these changes they abandoned their traditional diets of grains and vegetables, and instead ate meat, dairy products, and highly processed foods 

The intestine forms an effective barrier to separate and exclude intestinal contents from the interior of the body. Only a single layer separates the person from large amounts of antigens (foreign proteins) to pass through the intestinal wall. This condition of increased intestinal permeability is referred to as a “leaky gut.”

Fasting is known to decrease intestinal permeability, thus making the gut “less leaky.” This may be one of the reasons fasting has been shown to dramatically benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Don’t miss out from the great benefits of fasting in Ramadan. Not only is it a means of strengthening our spirituality and gaining nearness to Allah, it also provides us with healing for various ailments such as arthritis. And its FREE. 

When patients return after the fast to a diet with dairy products, the gut becomes more permeable and the arthritis returns. An unhealthy diet containing dairy and other animal products causes inflammation of the intestinal surfaces and thereby increases the passage of dietary and/or bacterial antigens.

A vegan diet (one with no animal products) has been found to change the fecal microbial flora in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and these changes in the fecal flora are associated with improvement in the arthritis activity. In addition, fasting in Ramadan, and continuing the fast in other months and on Mondays and Thursdays as recommended by the Prophet (saws) are great ways to follow in order to relieve the pain of arthritis.

For more information or to schedule an HijamaHerbs appointment for healing physical, emotional or sihr/jinn ailments and also counseling for married couples, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or email – aminshah@shahclan.net.

HijamaHerbs sessions for ladies is performed by Nusrat Shah. For children, we normally do not perform hijama, however herbs, homeopathic remedies and emotional healing is performed.

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