Post # 1
This thread is based on the fact that 5 different people in my Facebook newsfeed reported their children woke up with the stomach “flu”. One reported that she’s giving her toddler COWS MILK, and can’t figure out why the child is continuing to vomit. Seriously?!?
I grew up in a household where my mom was very serious about re-hydrating us as quickly as possible once we stopped vomiting. When I started dating DH, he once had the stomach flu that lasted 4 DAYS. I could not figure out how he was possibly so sick for so long, until we got married and I realized he would gulp down a ton of water while sick. He probably was so sick for so long because his electrolyte balance was thrown significantly out of whack, and he was severely dehydrated!
My mom kept us from drinking water, since plain water doesn’t significantly hydrate your system as quickly as pedialyte, gatorade, and other substances (if she didn’t have either of those, she would stir the carbonation out of ginger ale and give us that by the teaspoonful). None of us kids were ever hospitalized for dehydration. We would take a teaspoon of each of those every 15 minutes after we stopped actively getting sick, and would move up to drinking small glasses after about 6 hours.
In our case, this always worked. I wasn’t surprised to see that this is similar to what the CDC recommends to prevent hospitalization for dehydration. The whole point is that the body loses a significant amount of sodium, and these help replace the sodium much faster.
When people don’t do this, I’m left completely confused. The sodium/electrolyte replacement is necessary to keep the body functioning properly. Sure, you can gulp down water, milk, or whatever else you please, but it will probably keep you feeling sicker longer (from dehydration, not the actual virus).
Help me understand why people don’t follow these guidelines!
Post # 3
It seems like common sense to me, but then again, I’m a nurse 🙂
However, it’s not usually something that gets brought up in terms of healthy older children and adults- these individuals usually have the physical resources to compensate, even when slightly dehydrated. I’ve heard of oral hehydration therapy more in terms of older babies and toddlers. In this instance, I believe (I know I read somewhere!) that the evidence has shown oral rehydration therapy to be more effective than IV hydration in most cases.
Anyway, it amazes me how dumb some people can be! Milk, really?!
But then again I’ve seen people do some crazy things that are really detrimental to their health….
ETA: In response to your last question, I would imagine that the vast majority of people who don’t follow the guidelines simply don’t know about them. It’s the kind of thing you learn from having a good mom/dad/family member growing up, or you learn from your doctor after having a baby and making a few mistakes….for those who don’t come from a stable/educated background or have the resources to see a doctor, there isn’t an opportunity to learn.
Post # 4
@Dialysate: Right?! I asked this individual if she tried Pedialyte, and she said “yes, but it was too sweet, so we’re sticking to water and milk.”
I feel so bad for her toddler! I won’t go anywhere near milk for at least 2 days after a serious stomach bug. No wonder the poor thing keeps vomiting
Post # 5
@Dialysate: I think the milk thing is probably the mom trying to coat the stomach lining and keep blood sugar in check? I know when I have an upset stomach that’s what I do too.
ETA- and it works. For me, an adult.
Post # 6
Pedialyte is good but there is a product called Hydralyte that tastes even better, made for adults and kids, lasts longer in the fridge, and you can get in little powder sachets for travelling (on your tropical hot honeymoon?:) liquid or Popsicles. It is recommended by the World Health Orginization for rehydration while sweating, sick, whenever you need electrolytes…. And it doesn’t have all the sugars and carbs that sports drinks do, which is what a lot of adults try to use. I work in a pharmacy and reccommend this product quite often.
Post # 7
@WillyNilly: I’ver never heard of using milk to coat the stomach lining. For a child still actively getting sick, I’ve heard milk is one of the top things to avoid until the child can keep down solids — due to how hard it is on the digestive system after significant vomiting.
Post # 8
@WillyNilly: You know, I’ve heard of people saying that before…but personally, I wouldn’t do it. With an upset stomach, milk would be the #1 thing I’d give someone if I wanted them to throw up!! The average person can go 3 days without eating anything (with no problem) as long as they’re hydrated- so the blood sugar thing isn’t an issue for quite a while. (3 days is when we’d start most people on IV nutrition in the hospital.) It’s my opinion that people are much better off with tiny amounts of hydrating fluid (with electrolytes and some sugar). An oral rehydrating solution would take care of the blood sugar, anyway.
Now, it’s all more complicated with people who have diabetes, but I won’t go there 🙂
There is something to be said about the comfort that comes with having a “sick routine” that has historically worked for you, since you were a kid. If milk is your go-to thing and it works for you, do it! 🙂 It’s just not something I’d recommend for anyone who doesn’t already successfully do it.
Post # 9
That’s what I do too, as did my mom when we were sick. Even with it though, it’s possible to end up hospitalized. I once started throwing up blood because I was just heaving so badly for a long time. My sister would get dehydrated very fast, and had to be hospitalized a few times. She used to pass out after throwing up, so giving her something by mouth would be stupid when she wasn’t conscious.
I do find pedialyte tastes nasty, so I stick to certain flavours of sports drinks, sprite and gingerale. Tea – not black or green, with a bit of honey helps settle my stomach as well. That wouldn’t be right after vomiting though!
Post # 10
Our own hydration solution is the same one I used at the gym. Half water, half orange juice with a pinch of salt. If the OJ irritates, it gets left out. Then it’s 1 tablespOon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt (we use sea salt) per quart of water. This has been used with babies, adults, and pets with much success!
Post # 11
Totally. It’s usually just a desperate measure and works for about 10 minutes. Lol
Post # 12
@WillyNilly: Ohhh… So it just helps calm the stomach short-term?