The emergency unit at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) treated more than 1,300 people on the first day of Eid Al Fitr, twice the number of cases received at the unit on the festival day over the last few years.
Beginning from 7am on the first day of Eid, 1,351 cases were received in 24 hours, according to an Arabic newspaper. Most of these cases were related to stomach ailments and more than 17 were accident cases.
On the first day of Eid Al Fitr in 2008, the department had received 424 cases during official working hours. In 2006, the unit had attended to a total of 911 cases, of which 306 were concerning stomach ailments.
According to medical experts, stomach upset, indigestion, constipation and food poisoning are common complaints after Ramadan due to the change in eating habits after the fasting month. These ailments are usually accompanied by diarrhoea or an intense burning sensation in the stomach.
During Eid, people consume sweets and cakes on family visits which the stomach cannot cope with.
Some people consume carbonated drinks to help combat indigestion and fight gas-related problems. However, soft drinks only aggravate the problem.
Most of the cases reported were stomach disorders, and increase in blood glucose level and high blood pressure mainly due to over consumption of food, according to Dr Khalid Abu Noor Saifeldeen, Senior Consultant, Emergency Department.
He warned against excess food consumption specially those with high salt and sugar content as it could lead to high glucose and blood pressure. Those who fast during Ramadan should revert to normal eating habits gradually to avoid health complications.
The services at the Emergency Department have increased over the last few years, thanks to a comprehensive trauma care in partnership with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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