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Creating Waves of Awareness

The use of oral rehydration salt solution (ORS) has made a revolution in the prognosis of dehydration as a result of vomiting/diarrhea. It also made treatment much cheaper, and now home-based treatment can be given to many patients. The ORS contains glucose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium citrate in adequate amounts as recommended by the world health organization (WHO). This solution can supply sufficient amount of energy and electrolytes needed for the body, and its use has saved many from the complications of dehydration.

Along with the indicated medicine, a doctor should always encourage the dehydrated patients to take ORS solution, little by little, without irritating the stomach. But, recently I noticed that most of the mothers complain that, ORS is inducing further vomiting and the children are averse to take it. The same feedback I got from many pregnant women with morning sickness. In order to findout the cause, I collected ORS sachets, fanufactured by various pharmaceutical companies and found that almost all samples available in the market are flavoured using artificial chemicals and colouring agents, giving a strong flavour of fruits such as orange, lemon, pineapple etc. When the ORS solution having strong odor and taste is given to a person whose stomach is already irritated, it can again induce vomiting. The sensitivity of stomach is more severe in preganant women; hence the “ORS induced vomiting” is more common among them. As an alternative, I suggested my patients to get plain ORS from the nearby primary health centers. The result obtained from the plain ORS was excellent. Unfortunately, in India, plain ORS is supplied only through the government hospitals and health centers. It is not available in privated hospitals and private medical shops. All pharmaceuitical companies in private sector are making only the coloured and flavoured ORS, which is not good as the plain ORS. Hence, it is the need of the hour to have plain ORS in the market so that all catogories of patients can make use of it.

Dr Muhammed Rafeeque, BHMS.
Family Homoeopathic Clinic

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Comment by Debby Bruck on August 25, 2009 at 5:35am
Dear Dr. Rafeeque ~ thank you for expanding our education about Oral-Rehydration-Salts. This simple supplemental therapy saves lives and can be taught to parents and care-takers.
Rehydration Project
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on August 23, 2009 at 6:58am
ORS cant be considered as a medicine. It supplies the lost elements to the body, without altering the natural mechanism of the body. It can be considered as a simple form of food that can be absorbed by the body directly. It will never affect the medicine we give and the most important point, we can manage dehydrated cases without iv fluids. Of course the similimum will stimulate the body to absorb micro/macro nutrients, in that sense the indicated medicine is the best ORS. But, when the intestine is empty and body is lacking water due to frequent evacuation, from where the body will absorb? It has to be supplied from outside. when the food is given, a certain amount of time is needed for the digestion. Hence ORS is the ready made source of energy and electrolytes.
Comment by Dr. Meakin Mittu M.D.(Hom.) on August 22, 2009 at 8:50am
An indicated remedy in itself is the best ORS

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