Objective: All adult Muslims are obligated to abstain from food and drinks for about 11-16 hours daily during the month of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar, and this was reported to exacerbate migraine. The aim of this work was to study the factors, other than fasting, that may contribute to the occurrence of headache during Ramadan among Egyptian migraineurs.
Methods: This was a prospective survey conducted on Muslim migraine patients attending the headache clinic in Alexandria University hospital in Egypt during the month before Ramadan. Patients were given a diary to fill data about their headache, dietary consumption, fluid intake, sleep habits, and spiritual/religious practice during Ramadan.
Results: Twenty-nine patients participated with 222 days (148 days with migraine and 74 days without migraine). On comparing days with and days without headache, the factors significantly correlated with the occurrence of migraine were initial insomnia, certain spiritual/religious behaviors, fluid intake, coffee consumption, number of meals and certain food items (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Sleep habits, spiritual behaviors, eating habits and fluid intake contribute to migraine occurrence in Ramadan and should be considered for adequate control of the disease during fasting states.