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Can Oral Rehydration Salts ORS be used for everyone?

Can Oral Rehydration Salts ORS be used for everyone?

by: Dr. Sorabh Goel
Consultant - Neonatology-Paras Bliss, Panchkula

ORS is an abbreviation for oral rehydration solution. Whatever we intake in our body, it should be balanced. Ample quantity of water advised is 8 to 10 glasses in a day if we take more than advised quantity, our kidneys will have to work more than usual and it may affect its smooth functioning. On the other hand, if the intake is less it would lead to dehydration further leading to the suboptimal working of kidneys.

What is Oral Rehydration Solution?

ORS is safe and can be used to treat anyone suffering from diarrhoea/dehydration, without having to make a detailed diagnosis before the solution is given. It is also safe for infants on breast milk, however, feeding must also be continued.ORS is extremely cost effective. Compared to traditional IV therapy, ORS costs just a few rupees. This makes ORS much easier to deploy in major humanitarian crises and more patients are able to be treated. Additionally, ORS can be formulated and administered at home as soon as symptoms appear. Instead of going to a hospital for IV treatment, which may already be difficult for patients in developing countries, rehydration can begin right away. ORS is non-invasive i.e. it doesn’t require needles, pricks, which can lead to infection if not administered properly. Plus, it doesn’t require guidance to administer.

Do’s and Dont’s of ORS:

  • If we take ORS on daily basis, it will affect our normal balance of sodium in the body which may lead to malfunctioning of our system up to a certain extent.
  • ORSis comprised of Sodium chloride(salt), Potassium chloride, Sodium bicarbonate, glucose, etc. which clearly suggests that sodium intake is going to be more than usual. An excessive amount of any element in your blood is never good for our health.
  • ORS is useful when we are suffering from diarrhoea which renders us dehydrated. Loss of water can be overcome when we drink ORS mixed water.
  • There are very rare side effects though – gas, bloated abdomen, etc.
  • Drinking ORS on daily basis, we recommend is not good for our body. Drink clean water and fresh juices that will be anytime good. Avoid carbonated drinks.
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