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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 262-265

Impact of fasting during ramadan on renal functions in patients with chronic kidney disease

1 Department of Nephrology, NIMS, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Nephrology, GMC, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission29-Dec-2020
Date of Acceptance20-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication11-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Sree B Raju
Department of Nephrology, NIMS, Hyderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijn.IJN_521_20

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Introduction: The impact of Ramadan fasting in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains less studied and with inconsistent results. In this study, we tried to look at the impact of Ramadan fasting on renal function in patients with CKD. Materials and Methods: In this prospective observational study, we included 28 adult CKD patients. All relevant biochemical parameters including renal function tests were done in the month before Ramadan fasting and within 3 months after Ramadan. Urine output, body weight, and blood pressure were also monitored during Ramadan and after the end of Ramadan for at least 10 days. Results: All the 28 patients (mean age: 46 ± 12 years) included in the study managed to fast for the whole month, and none displayed any new clinical symptoms or signs. The renal function worsened in four (14.28%), and it was significant in those with CKD Stages 4 and 5 (P < 0.003). Conclusion: Stable CKD patients can fast with careful monitoring; however, there is a risk of renal function deterioration in advanced CKD.

Keywords: CKD, fasting, Ramadan, renal impairment

How to cite this article:
Ansari FA, Latief M, Manuel S, Shashikiran K B, Dwivedi R, Prasad D K, Golla A, Raju SB. Impact of fasting during ramadan on renal functions in patients with chronic kidney disease. Indian J Nephrol 2022;32:262-5

How to cite this URL:
Ansari FA, Latief M, Manuel S, Shashikiran K B, Dwivedi R, Prasad D K, Golla A, Raju SB. Impact of fasting during ramadan on renal functions in patients with chronic kidney disease. Indian J Nephrol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 3];32:262-5. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Ramadan fasting is observed by Muslims in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It consists of fasting for 12 to 18 hours per day with the duration of fasting as per the geographical location of the country. Studies on healthy people in different parts of the world have reported no adverse effects of fasting during Ramadan.[1],[2],[3] However, a large number of factors including acute kidney injury (AKI), dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, hypoglycemia, nephrolithiasis, and renal colic need to be considered in these patients. Very few studies have evaluated the impact of Ramadan fasting in patients with CKD, and these have reported inconsistent results.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] We aimed to study the impact of fasting during Ramadan on renal function in patients with CKD.

  Materials and Methods Top

In this prospective observational study, approved by the Institute Ethical Committee, we included 28 adult CKD patients aged between 18 and 70 years and were willing to fast during Ramadan, which commenced on May 6, 2019, and ended on June 4, 2019. We excluded patients with AKI, end-stage kidney disease, on renal replacement therapy, severe comorbidities, pregnancy, uncontrolled blood sugars, and/or blood pressure. None of our patients was on any immunosuppression during the study, and all the patients continued with the same amount of dietary protein intake during the study period. Biochemical tests including serum urea, creatinine, electrolytes, serum glucose, serum uric acid, hemoglobin levels, lipid profile, complete urine examination, spot urine protein to creatinine ratio were done within a month before fasting initiation, during and within 3 months after Ramadan. Serum creatinine, electrolytes, and urine output were also checked during Ramadan after fasting for at least 10 days. Worsening of renal function (WRF) was considered to have occurred when serum creatinine level increased by 0.3 mg/dL from the baseline during or within 3 months after Ramadan. Body weight (BW), blood pressure (BP), and 24-hour urine volume were monitored before, during, and after Ramadan.

  Results Top

All the 28 patients included in the study managed to fast during the whole month of Ramadan. There were 10 males and 18 females with a mean age of 46 ± 12 (23–68) years. Comorbidities such as diabetes (n = 10), hypertension (n = 26), and hypothyroidism (n = 4) were well controlled. The average fasting duration per day was around 14.5 hours. None of the patients displayed any new clinical symptoms or signs. Body weight, pulse, and BP before and after Ramadan are shown in [Table 1], whereas [Table 2] and [Table 3] depict blood and urinary investigations, respectively. The changes in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) during the study are shown in [Figure 1]. WRF was noted in four (14.3%) patients, of whom two improved later and two continued to have elevated creatinine. The advanced CKD stage was the only factor (P < 0.003) associated with WRF [Table 4].
Figure 1: Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) changes during study

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Table 1: Weight and blood pressure before and after Ramadan

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Table 2: Renal and biochemical variables

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Table 3: Urinary parameters before and after Ramadan

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Table 4: Effect of fasting on the development of worsening renal function (WRF)

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  Discussion Top

In our study, overall there was no significant difference in mean serum creatinine and eGFR before and after Ramadan fasting. Ankur Gupta et al.[9] described association between religion and renal failure (R2 syndrome). Studies done by El-Wakil et al.[4] Bernieh et al.[5] and Al Wakeel et al.[6] concluded that Ramadan fasting was safe in CKD patients, although these studies were done in the winter season. However, another study in the summer season reported that fasting was associated with WRF in higher stage CKD.[8] Comparison of our study with some of the previous studies is shown in [Table 5]. We observed an increase in hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum calcium, and serum potassium. In our study, four (14.28%) patients developed WRF. Compared with other studies, the mean eGFR of our study was higher as shown in [Table 5]. Fasting during Ramadan has been found not to increase the risk of colic or stone formation.[10],[11],[12] It is suggested that patients should maintain adequate hydration by drinking water during the fasting breaks.[13] Tashkandi et al.[14] found temporary and nonsignificant changes in lipid profiles in their patient cohort. Most prospective and observational studies have found that fasting is safe in CKD[5] There is also some evidence that fasting may in fact have a negative effect on the renal status.[4] In our study, early-stage CKD (1–3) tolerated the fasting well; however, that was not the case with CKD 4 and 5 patients, although this cannot be generalized considering the small size of our study population. A recent study done in patients with diabetes in CKD Stage 3 compared the fasting with those who did not fast and found no significant difference in clinical or biochemical parameters and adverse events.[15] In a meta-analysis by Bragazzi[16] that included five studies dealing with fasting and CKD, it was concluded that fasting in Ramadan is safe for patients with stable early-stage CKD. Another meta-analysis of six studies found that there was no significant change in GFR before and after fasting in CKD patients.[17] The suggested precautions include proper hydration, daily assessment of weight, electrolytes and creatinine assessment after 2 weeks of fasting, and patients should be advised not to continue fasting if serum creatinine rises to ≥30% from the baseline, or if severe electrolyte disturbances occur.[18]
Table 5: Comparison of CKD stages and baseline parameters with other studies

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  Conclusion Top

We conclude that stable early-stage CKD patients can fast with careful monitoring; however, there is a risk of renal function deterioration in advanced CKD (Stages 4 and 5), and therefore, these patients should avoid fasting.

Limitations of our study

Ours was a small patient population and no long-term follow-up was available. Moreover, we did not include any inflammatory marker or cytokine-level assessment in our study.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Unalacak M, Kara IH, Baltaci D, Erdem O, Bucaktepe PG. Effects of Ramadan fasting on biochemical and hematological parameters and cytokines in healthy and obese individuals. Metab Syndr Relat Disord 2011;9:157-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
Vardarli MC, Hammes HP, Vardarli İ. Possible metabolic impact of Ramadan fasting in healthy men. Turk J Med Sci 2014;44:1010-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
Guerrero-Morilla R, Ramírez-Rodrigo J, Ruiz-Villaverde G, Sánchez-Caravaca MA, Pérez-Moreno BA, Villaverde-Gutiérrez C. [Endocrine-metabolic adjustments during Ramadan fasting in young athletes]. Arch Latinoam Nutr 2013;63:14-20. Spanish.  Back to cited text no. 3
El-Wakil HS, Desoky I, Lotfy N, Adam AG. Fasting the month of Ramadan by Muslims: Could it be injurious to their kidneys? Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2007;18:349-54.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Bernieh B, Al Hakim MR, Boobes Y, Abu Zidan FM. Fasting Ramadan in chronic kidney disease patients: Clinical and biochemical effects. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2010;21:898-902.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Al Wakeel JS. Kidney function and metabolic profile of chronic kidney disease and hemodialysis patients during Ramadan fasting. Iran J Kidney Dis 2014;8:321-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Mbarki H, Tazi N, Najdi A, Tachfouti N, Arrayhani M, Sqalli T. Effects of fasting during Ramadan on renal function of patients with chronic kidney disease. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2015;26:320-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Bakhit AA, Kurdi AM, Wadera JJ, Alsuwaida AO. Effects of Ramadan fasting on moderate to severe chronic kidney disease. A prospective observational study. Saudi Med J 2017;38:48-52.  Back to cited text no. 8
Gupta A, Lal C, Khaira A, Agarwal SK, Tiwari SC. R2 syndrome: Religion and renal failure. J Assoc Physicians India 2010;58:201.  Back to cited text no. 9
al-Hadramy MS. Seasonal variations of urinary stone colic in Arabia. J Pak Med Assoc 1997;47:281-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
Macneil F, Bariol S. Urinary stone disease-Assessment and management. Aust Fam Physician 2011;40:772-5.  Back to cited text no. 11
Fink HA, Akornor JW, Garimella PS, MacDonald R, Cutting A, Rutks IR, et al. Diet, fluid, or supplements for secondary prevention of nephrolithiasis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Eur Urol 2009;56:72-80.  Back to cited text no. 12
Emami-Naini A, Roomizadeh P, Baradaran A, Abedini A, Abtahi M. Ramadan fasting and patients with renal diseases: A mini review of the literature. J Res Med Sci 2013;18:711-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
Tashkandi B, Kaur D, Latifi E, Tallman DA, Chinna K, Daud ZAM, et al. Lipids, lipoprotein distribution and nutritional parameters over the Ramadan period in hemodialysis patients. Nutrients 2019;11:2225.  Back to cited text no. 14
Chowdhury A, Khan H, Lasker SS, Chowdhury TA. Fasting outcomes in people with diabetes and chronic kidney disease in East London during Ramadan 2018: The East London diabetes in Ramadan survey. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2019;152:166-70.  Back to cited text no. 15
Bragazzi NL. Ramadan fasting and chronic kidney disease: A systematic review. J Res Med Sci 2014;19:665-76.  Back to cited text no. 16
Bragazzi NL. Ramadan fasting and chronic kidney disease: Does estimated glomerular filtration rate change after and before Ramadan? Insights from a mini meta-analysis. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis 2015;8:53-7.  Back to cited text no. 17
Ahmad S, Chowdhury TA. Fasting during Ramadan in people with chronic kidney disease: A review of the literature. Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab 2019;10:1-11.  Back to cited text no. 18


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]


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