Humans need proper hydration to stay alive. It’s for this reason (among others) that the human body needs to drink water regularly. However, certain health complications may inhibit the body from getting sufficient amounts of water.
One health issue that should come to mind is diarrhea. Also called dysentery or ‘the runs,’ diarrhea creates loose, watery bowel movements that may last for short or extended periods. A patient experiencing diarrhea may also have dehydration as more fluids exit the body than usual. Oral rehydration therapy can become an excellent solution to help restore fluids lost from diarrhea and other health conditions.
What Is Oral Rehydration Therapy?
Oral rehydration therapy is administering the correct balance of electrolytes, salts, sugars, and water to restore hydration in the body. The body gains additional fluids through osmosis, a process that uses salts and sugars to pull water into the bloodstream to help hasten rehydration.
According to DripDrop, oral rehydration therapy promotes numerous benefits to different users. Athletes, babies, seniors, and military personnel are among the many people that can take advantage of this treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of Oral Rehydration Therapy?
Continue reading to know about some of the many benefits of oral rehydration therapy.
- Helps Treat And Manage Diarrhea
A report indicates that diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death in the US, aside from suicide and drug abuse. It’s because bacteria found in different regions may cause serious diarrhea symptoms, which may complicate existing health concerns.
Much of the diarrhea-related deaths in the US come from C. difficile, a bacterium that may cause life-threatening issues by attacking the intestines. Furthermore, mortality rates tend to have been on the rise because of C. difficile-influenced diarrhea from 2000 to 2014.
Implementing oral rehydration therapy may help curb these diarrhea-related mortalities. However, you should know that drinking oral rehydration solutions does not stop diarrhea. Instead, it helps replace the essential salts and fluids lost from the illness.
The oral rehydration solution’s glucose or sugar content enables the intestine to absorb more fluid and salts naturally and efficiently. Conversely, if a medical professional injects glucose molecules into the body through intravenous procedures, the intestinal wall absorbs the substances. In return, the molecules will become unaffected to the diarrheal state, reducing rehydration and healing opportunities.
Instead, oral rehydration therapy uses a straightforward yet convenient act of drinking the solution for better hydration. Thus, this treatment procedure becomes a less invasive approach to treating and managing diarrhea symptoms.
- Complements Malnutrition Care
Malnutrition is a health condition wherein an individual has deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in their energy or nutritional intakes. These imbalances may promote dehydration, creating higher-than-average risks of life-threatening issues to malnourished people.
Oral rehydration therapy may help decrease these risks by supplementing malnourishment treatment practices.
One study conducted randomized trials that compared different oral rehydration treatments in malnourished children with diarrhea. The research results found that certain types of oral rehydration solutions tend to work better than others. One solution given to some of the malnourished children was hypo-osmolar, which means it has lower-than-average electrolytes, proteins, and nutrients. The kids who drank the hypo-osmolar solution showed stool reduction outputs and a reduction in diarrhea duration.
Since the children showed positive results from the treatment, they would have a better-than-average chance of regaining the nutrition lost from diarrhea. But, don’t forget to provide medical supervision if you plan on giving this therapy to malnourished children to check their health conditions constantly. Furthermore, giving constant supervision helps doctors decide the correct course of treatment.
- Helps Normalize Solid Food Intake
Note that dehydration doesn’t only occur in people with diarrhea. The abnormal loss of fluids and nutrition may also come from other health complications, such as constant vomiting.
People experiencing regurgitation or vomiting because of certain health problems may find it challenging to swallow solid foods. Oral rehydration therapy may help restore solid food intake among these individuals.
Consuming oral rehydration solutions should be part of the treatment for patients who need to restore their normal diets. But, the treatment may vary depending on the individual’s age. For example, adults consuming the rehydration solution should start with eating semi-solid foods every three to four hours. Conversely, children undergoing the therapy should have one extra meal than the food intake of adults as their bodies might require more sustenance to recover from dehydration.
- Helps Improve Dental Health
Dehydration may cause dental health issues, such as bad breath (halitosis), teeth stains, and gum disease. It’s because the body can’t produce the average amounts of saliva, which helps maintain moisture in the oral cavity.
Implementing oral rehydration therapy may restore and prevent these dental issues from surfacing. Maintaining proper hydration in the body helps the mouth produce appropriate amounts of saliva, keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums properly moist.
It would also help if you keep in mind that rehydrating with energy or sports drinks may produce different results than consuming rehydration solutions. Several sports drinks tend to have more sugar than glucose, causing the body to gain a burst of energy when needed. But, increased sugar levels may also increase the risk of dental issues, like tooth decay and gingivitis.
On the other hand, oral rehydration solutions may not have the same risk levels compared to energy drinks. Consider drinking these rehydration beverages to help maintain a healthy smile and fresh breath, while giving your body the hydration it needs.
Thus, oral rehydration therapy becomes an ideal solution for athletes, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts. Consuming rehydration solutions may help produce more energy for the body, thanks to the electrolytes. These electrically charged minerals help fitness buffs feel more active, even after intense training or workout sessions.
Oral rehydration therapy promotes the balance of the body’s salt, sugar, and water levels. Rehydration treatment helps improve certain health issues, such as diarrhea and malnutrition. But, it would be best if you always considered talking to your doctor before initiating this therapy to ensure you’re following correct practices.