What is an oral rehydration solution?
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it uses. This can happen for a number of reasons, including excessive diarrhea or vomiting. Dehydration can be dangerous if left untreated. This is because your body relies on water to perform its vital functions.
Oral dehydration is a treatment for dehydration. These include drinking water, sugar, and electrolytes, especially beverages that contain potassium and sodium. The drink or mixture may be called as oral rehydration solution (ORS).
How Oral Rehydration Solutions Work for Dehydration?
Mild dehydration can usually be treated with fluids such as water and clear soup. But for mild dehydration, ORS may be ideal. In addition to water, ORS contain glucose and electrolytes. The electrolytes are potassium and sodium.
These ingredients maximize the absorption of liquid in the stomach. The gastrointestinal tract relies on sodium glucose transporters (SGLTs), which are transport proteins in intestinal cells. Gasket carriers help move material through the membrane.
In particular, SGLT combines sodium and glucose transport in the small intestine. This allows glucose to increase fluid absorption. In addition, glucose is required for adequate sodium absorption. This is why ORS contain both glucose and sodium.
Since 1975, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have used ORS to treat dehydration caused by diarrhea. It is typically used in countries with limited access to clean water or other hydration options.
Oral rehydration therapy has a high success rate. According to a 2018 study, oral rehydration has prevented 54 million deaths from diarrhea since 2007. Since 1980, the therapy has also reduced childhood deaths from diarrhea by two-thirds.
Is oral rehydration therapy safe for children?
Children are more prone to dehydration due to diarrhea than adults. They have a high metabolic rate, which means their bodies use water faster. Children may also not be able to recognize thirst or drink on their own.
Factors such as burns, excessive sweating, or inadequate water intake can further increase the risk of dehydration. Oral rehydration therapy can also be used for older people and people with medical problems. Like children, they are more at risk of becoming dehydrated.
Generally, healthy adults with mild diarrhea can also take ORS, but this may not be necessary. They can usually be rehydrated with water, clear soup, or a sports drink that contains electrolytes.