Why is ORS important to control diarrhoea?

According to some studies, there are some alarming facts about diarrhoea that will take you aback. It has been found out that diarrhoea is the third leading reason for childhood mortality in in India. It is also one of the major causes of malnutrition in children below the age of 5 years. Access to safe drinking water, good hand hygiene, food safety and clean sanitation measures are essential preventive measures to control or minimise the cases of diarrhoea in India. Consuming ORS is considered to be one of the ideal ways to treat severe dehydration caused during this disease. Before we look at how ORS replenishes body fluids, let’s find out what happens to the human body during diarrhoea.

How does Diarrhoea lead to dehydration?

A healthy intestine generally secretes and absorbs almost 20 litres of water every day. This helps in transporting essential metabolites and proteins throughout the body from food that we eat. During diarrhoea, the intestine is infected, and it starts secreting more water than the amount of fluids that it absorbs. This condition can also lead to sudden loss of sodium in the body. For the body to function properly, the concentration of Sodium ions should always be maintained. During the state of diarrhoea, the body is unable to regulate sodium content effectively, leading to various symptoms like dizziness and weakness.

How ORS helps in regaining lost body fluids, electrolyte and sodium levels

The first thing that would come to your mind in such a situation would be to consume saline water as it contains Sodium ions. But this on the contrary, will increase the intestine’s secretion level, ultimately worsening the entire condition. However, when glucose or dextrose is added to the saline water, the intestine starts absorbing the glucose molecules even in the state of diarrhoea. The interesting part is that one molecule of glucose also transports one sodium ion into the system. This discovery of co-transport mechanism of glucose and sodium is considered to be one of the greatest findings in medical history. When the concentration of sodium ions across on the intestinal walls increases, it also pulls in water molecules. Excessive dehydration can also lead to a chronic loss of potassium which further results in severe weakness. Coslyte has the right amount of Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Citrate as Dextrose Anhydrous, as recommended by WHO. These essential components help in rapidly replenishing lost body fluids and thus ensure faster rehydration during diarrhoea.

It must be noted that ORS fights the state of dehydration during diarrhoea but does not stop or cure the condition. It is always advisable to seek medical attention when you are suffering from diarrhoeal diseases. Your physician will analyse the severity of your condition and suggest the necessary medication which may also include ORS. Follow us on our social media pages to know more about the benefits of ORS, causes of dehydration or ways in which you can stay hydrated at all times, even during diarrhoea.

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