With a forecast for pleasant temperatures on Yom Kippur on Shabbat, the 25-hour
fast should be easier, but experts say that heavy coffee, cola, cocoa or
non-herbal tea drinkers should decrease their intake now to reduce the risk of
headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
All adults and youngsters who plan to
fast should drink more water than usual to “fill up their tank” and reduce the
risk of dehydration and fainting, they add. But people who have an acute or
chronic medical problem, take medications or underwent surgery recently as well
as pregnant women should consult with their personal physicians (and rabbis, if
they are observant) before Yom Kippur to learn whether they can
Magen David Adom is preparing for a high alert for Yom Kippur, with
hundreds of medics and paramedics – paid and volunteer – on duty to treat people
who feel unwell in synagogues and elsewhere.
Some of them will be
equipped with semi-automatic defibrillators for treating people with cardiac
arrest. Every year, the emergency first-aid and ambulance service receives calls
from about 2,000 people who need help during the fast. It called on the public
not to interfere with ambulances traveling on the holy day.
urged parents to supervise children riding on bicycles, rollerblades, skates and
skateboards so they do not risk being hit by a vehicle or falling in near-empty
streets. About 200 are injured by passing vehicles each Rosh Hashana
nevertheless. This is five times the usual accident rate for 24 hours. Children
should be supervised and wear helmets, as well as knee and elbow protectors. If
they go out at night, they should wear light-colored clothing and have
reflective tapes on their bikes.
Call 101 in a medical
Blood donors are asked to give, as blood supplies always
decline during the holidays when people are away from their
Those who take drugs for chronic conditions should not stop for
the fast without consulting their doctors. Diabetics dependent on insulin should
not stop the injections and fast, doctors say, but they can consider drinking
and eating less.
Cancer patients who are undergoing therapy should not
fast without approval from their physicians, as they require liquids to
alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy.
Heart patients suffering from
atherosclerosis must not fast, according to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center
cardiologist Dr. Moshe Horovitz.
Magen David Adom advises drinking eight
to 10 glasses of water on the eve of the fast.
Children fasting for the
first time should especially be careful to carry this out. Experts also suggest
avoiding sweet drinks and salty foods as they increase thirst.
dietitians at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center advise eating a number of small
meals on Friday instead of one large meal. These should be well balanced,
including protein (such as eggs, fish, chicken and tuna), sources of sugar (such
as breads and pasta) and vegetables.
The last meal before the fast should
include “slow-release” complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread, brown
rice, pasta, potatoes, couscous, corn, whole-grained rice, sweet potato, cracked
wheat and pulses.
MDA urges taking special care when eating fish during
the pre-fast meal. Bones can get stuck easily in the trachea, and this can be
particularly dangerous to younger children who do not have a well-developed
While fasting, try to avoid too much physical
activity and try to stay in a cool, preferably air-conditioned environment. Most
nursing women can fast without a problem and should continue to nurse as usual.
If they stop feeding or pumping milk, they could suffer inflammation and pain.
If during the fast, your blood pressure or blood sugar falls significantly and
you feel very weak and dizzy, you may need to drink and/or eat a small amount
and then rest until you feel better. If you continue to feel very weak or
generally ill, seek immediate medical attention.
Experts agree that the
optimal way to end the fast is to drink a couple of glasses of water or a
The first meal of solid food should be a light one. If you
are still hungry, wait an hour or two after the light meal.
quickly or too much after a fast can cause abdominal pain and sometimes even
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