"The discovery that sodium transport and glucose transport are coupled in the small intestine so that glucose accelerates absorption of solute and water (is) potentially the most important medical advance this century." British Scientific Journal
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
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Diarrhea claims the lives of 3 million people, with nearly 2 million of them children under five years old. Yet a simple and inexpensive treatment can prevent many of those deaths.
ORT administered by nurses a patient (Wikipedia)
Here is a simple formula for oral rehydration therapy (ORT): a fistful of sugar + a pinch of salt + a jug of water. This old home remedy is now recognized by the WHO and UNICEF of the United Nations (UN-WHO) which recently reported that it has saved some 40 million lives. This home grown remedy hopes to further demote diarrhea from its present status as the second leading cause of death among children, to an ordinary ailment that can be readily prevented or treated.
According to WHO/UNICEF, ORT should begin at home with home fluids or home-prepared sugar and salt solution at the first sign of diarrhea to prevent dehydration (loss of body fluid). Feeding should be continued at all times.
However, once the patient is dehydrated, the regimen should be switched to official preparation usually in pre-measured sachets that are ready to be mixed with water. The formula is commercially sold or supplied by local government and relief agencies like WHO and UNICEF. In 1996 alone UNICEF distributed 500 million sachets to over 60 developing nations.
Everyone experiences at certain times symptoms that may be associated with diarrhea, such as too much drinking of alcohol, intolerance to wheat protein (gluten) or lactose (milk), or chronic symptom to food poisoning. It is also associated with anemic condition, pancreatic disorder, and radiation treatment (chemotherapy)
There are even cases of drastic diarrhea among curious children who ate seeds of castor (Ricinus communis) and tubang bakud (Jatropha curcas). The beans from these plants taste like peanut of sort. Castor oil was once the most popular purgative, until it was discovered to contain ricinin, which is a poisonous substance.
There are cases that need immediate medical attention, specially diarrhea associated with blood, diarrhea that continues for more than two days, diarrhea associated with general illness such as fever, weight loss, abdominal pain etc.
Diarrhea in travelers needs medical attention, since they are likely to have exotic infections such as parasites. And to prevent the spread of diarrhea, health programs should include strict supervision of food and food handlers. For these and similar cases, it is best to consult healthcare professionals or go to the health center.
Let's take heed of the advice of old folks and the experts.
NOTE: ORT may be traced to the prescriptions of an ancient physician Sushruta way back over 2500 years for the treatment of acute diarrhea with rice water, coconut juice and carrot soup. However, this knowledge was unknown in the Western world not even during the pandemic of cholera in Russia and Western Europe in 1829. ORT developed from this ancient and ethnic remedy, which is today the most extensive and effective control of a disease unparalleled by any other means.~
Reference: Living with Nature, Living with Folk Wisdom by AV Rotor, UST Publishing House, Manila; Time, Wikipedia