Dehydration can be defined as "the excessive loss of water from the body." Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
can lead to dehydration in various ways. Often, dehydration becomes the major problem in an otherwise self-limited illness.
Fluid loss may even be severe enough to become life-threatening.
The patient suffers from intense thirst. His tongue is white and dry. His skin is wrinkled, the eyeballs sunken, cheeks
hollow, and breathing is labored and difficult. Because of the lack of fluids in the body, the blood pressure falls, and the
temperature may be subnormal although the pulse rate may be rapid. Dehydration is dangerous. It is the single leading cause
of childhood death around the world.
Dehydration usually occurs to a person suffering from severe bouts of diarrhea or vomiting. Loss of electrolytes and body
fluids during these bouts can cause intense dehydration to the point of unconsciousness.
Immediate medical attention is necessary in such cases.
In the 1960's the World Health Organization (WHO) developed an oral solution containing sugar, which improved the absorption
of salt/water preparations, saving the lives of many dehydrated persons in remote areas. This solution can be prepared at
home by mixing the following:
1. Table Salt - 3/4 teaspoon
2. Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
3. Sugar -4 tablespoons
4. Orange juice - 1 cup
5. Water - 1 quart/liter
This beverage can be taken in small, frequent sips, and is often tolerated in the face of nausea and vomiting. Several
commercial preparations are available, but since their composition varies, your physician should be contacted to decide which
replacement solution (if any) is best.
HOME REMEDIES: DEHYDRATION
·Drink lots of water by adding some water or salt to it.
·Avoid Fruit juices, apricots, peas, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, etc.
·Take yogurt, buttermilk, mint, apple, pomegranate, papaya, banana, carrot, potato, etc.
·Add a few drops of pudin hara to half of cup of water and drink 3-4 times.
·Drink a mixture of 1 tsp mint juice, 1/2 tsp ginger juice, and 1 tsp honey.
·Grind a lemon along with seeds and make a paste. Add some salt. Take 1 tsp of this paste 2-3 times.
·Drink 1/2 tsp of dry ginger (saunth powder in 1 cup buttermilk (chhachh) 3 - 4 times a day.
·Chew a few pieces of the inner lining of pomegranate with salt, and/or drink pomegranate juice.
·Prepare a mixture by ading 1 Tbsp poppy seeds, 1 tsp edible gum, 1 tsp cardamom powder, 1/2 tsp nutmeg (jaiphal) powder,
and2 tbs sugar, and grind to a powder. Take this powder every 2 hours.
·Prepare a mixture by adding 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp ginger juice, and 1/4 tsp pepper powder and drink it.
·Mix 5-6 chopped basil (tulsi) leaves, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and some black pepper in 3 Tbsp of curd, and eat it. Repeat this
4 times a day for one week.
·Roast 1/2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds and 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (dana methi). Mix and powder it, add to 4 tsp of yogurt
(curd). Take thrice a day.
·Grate one raw papaya. Add 3 cups water, boil for 10 mins, strain and finish the water in one day.
·Apply ginger juice around the navel area of a child.
·Stew 1 apple with 2 pinches of nutmeg powder and 1 tsp sugar. Give your child to eat it.
·Avoid alcohol and caffeine during dehydration.
·Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
·Hot weather is another common cause of dehydration in the elderly. Always use an air conditioner or fans in hot weather.
.Apply heat to the abdomen to help relieve pain, cramps, and tenderness. Electric heating pads, moist heat wraps, and
water bottles can all be used as needed.
·The leaves and fruit of blueberries and bilberries will help to naturally stop diarrhea.
·Chamomile is a natural pain reliever, which will help to rid your body of cramps and inflammation.
·Eat one green banana every two to four hours until symptoms subside.
·Small, frequent feeds of energy-rich local foods familiar to the child should be given. A little vegetable oil can be
added to foods such as millet or rice to increase the energy content.
·Foods high in potassium are important to restore the body's essential stores depleted during diarrhea. Such foods include
lentils, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, coconut milk and citrus fruits.
·The patient may have ice chips by mouth or sips of water frequently.
.Drink plenty of tender coconut water. It contains a lot of electrolytes and minerals necessary for the body.
.Lime juice or lemon juice with sugar and a pinch of salt also eases dehydration.
.If dehydration is caused due to nausea and vomiting, then it is best to control that first by giving the patient any
anti emetic. Carom or bishop seeds or ajwain and salt if chewed in betel leaf eases nausea.
.Controlling diarrhoea is another method of tackling dehydration. Eat lots of fiber rich foods and fruits. Pomegranate
juice or apple juice controls loose motions. Arrowroot powder made into a porridge with milk, can help in controlling diarrhoea.