Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) is a simple treatment for dehydration caused by diarrhea, resulting from cholera or rotavirus or other diseases. ORT is a mixture of salts and sugars that is taken by mouth. It is used around the world. In the developing world it saves millions of children a year from death due to diarrhea.
In 1831, intravenous hydration was first used to replace the salts and water lost from diarrhea. The results were remarkable, and the mortality rate of cholera dropped from 70 percent to 40 percent with the use of IV solutions.
The World Health Organizations states that some home products can be used to treat and prevent dehydration. This includes the following salted rice water, salted yogurt drink, and salted vegetable or chicken soup. In addition a medium amount of salt can be added to water in which cereal has been cooked, unsalted soup, green coconut water, and unsweetened fruit juice. They should have the “taste of tears”. If available, add supplemental zinc and potassium to the solution.
There are several solutions that are commonly used.
A basic oral rehydration therapy solution is composed of:
- 30 ml (6 level tsp) of sugar
- 2.5 ml (1/2 level tsp) of salt, dissolved into
- 1 liter (4.25 Cups) of clean water
To obtain some potassium, (4 fl oz) of orange juice or some mashed banana can be added to the mixture
Another rehydration formula is
- ¼ tsp real salt
- ¼ tsp no salt (potassium chloride)
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 2 ½ tsp sugar
- 4 cups of water
Commercial rehydration solutions are available on the internet and through drug stores. I have had a Doctor tell me that Powdered Gatorade works well.
If you have a patient that is suffering from dehydration give them small amounts of liquid every few minutes until their urine is normal. I suggest that you read and study additional material on this subject, a good book is “Where There is No Doctor published by the Hesperian Foundation.
These statements have not been reviewed by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.