Ready or Not #239: Drink Up

I don’t have any babies in my house and all of my children have grown up, but I have Pedialyte in my food storage.  I could just as easily have Gatorade in my storage, but the Pedialyte was on sale.  Why have either product in your food storage?  Because you want to be prepared.

This winter season has been a sickie season and I can’t tell you how many people that I know who have caught one stomach flu bug or another.  There has been lots of throwing up, loose bowels and feverish temperatures.  Anything to make you feel miserable.

Fortunately, my family hasn’t been affected too much, but there was one time that my mother nearly died of dehydration from being so very ill with the flu.  She was in the hospital for five days before they could release her and all because of dehydration!

When someone gets ill and loses water, minerals and electrolytes faster than they are being replenished, it can be deadly.  This happens with horrible diseases such as cholera, dysentery and other illnesses with excessive vomiting or diarrhea.  If dehydration ever starts to happen to you, address it immediately before you need to be hospitalized, or you could possibly die.  It happens.

This is why I have Pedialyte in my food storage.

If you are in a situation where you don’t have access to a pre-made oral rehydration therapy solution (ORT), you can always make your own.  There are a variety of recipes, but basically all are the same.  The recipe is all based on the standard ratio of water sugar and salt and you don’t want to vary the amounts of any of them.  Make sure that you measure as closely as possible.  If you have too much sugar, it could encourage the diarrhea, but if you add too much salt, it could draw out more water from your system and make you even more dehydrated.  So measure carefully, drink responsibly and get to a doctor immediately if it doesn’t help right away.

Basic Oral Rehydration Solution

6 level teaspoons of sugar (I really don’t think it matters what kind, but don’t use artificial sweeteners.) You need the sugar; it’s not just for flavor.

½ level teaspoon of salt
1 litre (4 ¼ cups) water
Non-sugared flavoring (optional)

Dissolve sugar and salt into the water and drink.  This solution does not address the loss of potassium and so make sure that you ingest some form of potassium (potassium pills or a banana).  Without enough potassium you can go into a coma and die.  This is very serious stuff.

Remember, if after drinking the solution you find that you are still having problems, please make an appointment with your medical doctor as soon as possible or you might find yourself in the hospital.  If you use the pre-made solutions, make sure that you follow the directions carefully.

And that reminds me.  If you and your children regularly consume a lot of Gatorade just as a normal everyday drink, and not after exercising or sweating profusely, you might want to replace that with water because too much of a good thing can sometimes be bad.  It is bad when we work our kidneys too hard, unnecessarily.

Now go drink a great big glass of water and be grateful that you don’t need to put sugar and salt in it!

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