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