Journal article
Postprandial fasting related headache during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia:
A cross-sectional study



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Publication Details
Subtitle: Postprandial Headache
Author list: Abdullah AlAmri1,2, Mohammed AlMuaigel2 ,
Mona AlSheikh3, Mohammad Zeeshan4, Wejdan Suwayyid5 and Foziah AlShamrani1,2

Publisher: Wiley: No OnlineOpen / SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Publication year: 2021
ISSN: 0333-1024
Web of Science ID:
PubMed ID:
Scopus ID:
eISSN: 1468-2982


Background: Headache disorders are classified as primary or secondary; however, among the secondary headaches, those attributed to food ingestion are not well understood. Therefore, we conducted this study to describe and characterize a new headache entity that occurred during the holy month of Ramadan. This headache occurred within 4 h of breaking the fast.
Methods: This is a nationwide descriptive community-based cross-sectional study conducted during the last 10 days of Ramadan, based on a random sample of adults living in Saudi Arabia. The demographic data, headache symptomatology, nature and distribution of the pain, possible triggering and relieving factors, and patient management programs were analyzed.
Results: Completed questionnaires were obtained from 16,031 participants. Of those, 3147 (19.6%) reported head- aches after breaking the fast in Ramadan. In 84.1% of cases, there was no previous diagnosis of headache or migraine. The characteristics of these postprandial fasting-related headaches mostly was episodic in nature (72%). The nature of the headache was variable, mostly heaviness or tightness (53.9%). Triggering factors included ingestion of fried food in (45%) and coffee (26.3%). Lying down and sleeping was found to be an important relieving factor (61%).Conclusion: A new headache entity is being described. Appears to be quite common, occurs less than 2 h following the first meal, and is mostly of the heaviness and tension type.


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Last updated on 2021-19-06 at 05:55