Simplest Recipe for ORAL REHYDRATION SOLUTION (ORS)
A fistful of sugar + A large pinch of salt + (dissolved in) a jug of clear water and administered gradually
(Eight teaspoons of sugar + one teaspoon of salt + one litre of water)
- Oral Rehydration treatment can reverse dehydration in more than 90% of patients, even in cases of the sever diarrhea caused by bugs like rotavirus and cholera.
- When the solution reaches the small intestine, the sodium-glucose co-transport pathway moves sugar from the hollow part of the intestine (lumen) into its mucosal lining (epithelium) through the villi, small fingerlike projections on the intestinal wall. "It's like having a chemical needle in the intestinal tract," says William Greenough, a professor of medicine at John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and a former director of ICDDR (INTERNATIONAL CENTRE for DIARRHOEAL DISEASE RESEARCH).
- Sugar's chemical properties allow salt to be absorbed more efficiently. The salt then promotes the absorption of water into the capillaries within the intestinal walls, which carry the water and electrolytes to other parts of the body and restore fluid balance.
(Please note ready-mixed sugar-salt packets are sold at pharmacies. A retired nurse told my Mum that a few years back, some friends who climbed Mt. Kinabalu took several packets with them in cases of leg cramps.)