Study: Drug may help ease Ramadan headaches

August 23, 2011 05:21

NEW YORK - A painkilling, anti-inflammatory drug may help prevent headaches in Muslims fasting from dawn to dusk for Ramadan, according to a study from Israel -- where a "Yom Kippur headache" is also known.

About four in every ten people who abstain from food and water all day during the month-long Ramadan period get headaches, said the study, published in the journal Headache. This year, Ramadan began on August 1.

"Religious fasting is associated with headache," wrote lead researcher Michael Drescher, from Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, the United States, referring to Ramadan and Judaism's Yom Kippur, when people fast for 25 hours.

Doctors aren't quite sure what causes them. It could be dehydration, or caffeine withdrawal in people who are used to getting their morning coffee, Drescher told Reuters Health.

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