MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: What is the connection between diarrheoa and gassy drinks?

Date: Sun Jan 27 08:53:14 2002
Posted By: Luc Ronchi, M.D., Anesthesiology, Anesthesiologie Hopital
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 997758332.Me

Dirrheoa leads to a loss of water, but not only water. What you actually 
loose is water and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, bicarbonate).
When you treat a patient with severe diarrheoa, you have to act in two 
directions, i.e. restore the volume of water in the body, and restore the 
total amount of sodium and other electrolytes.
When diarrheoa is severe, especially in chidren, you need an intravenous 
perfusion to be established.
For less severe situations, or when an iv is not available (developing 
countries), your therapeutic plan should be:
- avoidance of any solid food
- oral intake of little volumes, frequently given
- solution containing glucose (calories) and electrolytes

The UNICEF markets a "preconditioned" salt wich is a white powder 
containing glucose and electrolytes. You just need to add fresh water and 
have the child drink frequent and little amounts. But fresh water 
availability is the limit.....

You can use (it's very convenient) carbonated solutions marketed almost 
anywhere on earth (I mean colas). But you need to shake them vigourously to 
remove bubbles, before ingestion.

You were right: colas are useful for rehydratation in diarrheoas (you are 
sure of bacterial safety), but remember to remove bubbles!


Luc A Ronchi, MD
Ped Anesthesia
Hopital de St Nazaire, France

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