Becoming severely dehydrated can rapidly become life threatening.
The most common cause of dehydration is diarrhea, which can be a result of food poisoning, drinking contaminated water, or other sickness or contamination.
Those who have experienced any of these ailments know full well the severity at which your body can be ‘put down’ by an invisible agent.
Especially when in an environment of post-disaster or unsanitary living conditions, you are at risk of being inflicted with diarrhea which can rapidly lead to dehydration.
The key to recovery is to remain hydrated. A homemade re-hydration solution from the following recipe could become a lifesaver for someone who is ill and dehydrated.
Because plain water does not contain sugar, sodium, or potassium (which also is lost from diarrhea) it is important to drink plenty of fluids that contain these substances.
Examples of such drinks include ‘sports drinks’, prepared re-hydration solutions, chicken or beef broth, soft drinks, or bottled and flavored mineral water.
Antibiotics will sometimes resolve the symptoms of diarrhea – however, antibiotics won’t help with viral diarrhea, which is the most common type of infectious diarrhea.
Drugs that slow diarrhea are controversial. Some doctors don’t like their patients to take these medications because it slows the passage of the virus, bacteria, or parasite out of the body. If you wonder whether you should use any of the over-the-counter preparations available for diarrhea, ask your doctor.
A simple alternative to a store-bought re-hydration solution is the following recipe from the World Health Organization:
Clean water (4.5 cups or 1L)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon or 2.5mL)
Sugar (6 teaspoons or 30mL)
Clean water (1 cup)
Salt (1/8 teaspoon)
Sugar (1.5 teaspoons)
Oral rehydration solutions should be consumed or discarded within 12 hours if held at room temperature.
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