What should be done during diarrhea?

What should be done during diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common childhood disease which leads to dehydration and sometimes death. The child requires prompt correction of fluid and electrolyte loss using oral rehydration solution (ORS) along with appropriate/adequate feeding. 

ORS can be prepared by adding a pinch of salt (between thumb and index finger) and a teaspoon of sugar to a glass of potable water. Home-made fluids such as rice kanji or buttermilk with salt can also be used. During infections, children should frequently be given small quantities of fluids by mouth, including plain water. During diarrhea, feeding should be continued, though this goes against the popular practice. Breast-milk promotes sodium and water transport across the gut and, thus, prevents dehydration and weight loss, in addition to providing other nutrients. 

The diet of 1-2 year old children with diarrhea should provide energy of about 1000 Kcal/day. Calorie-rich, semi-solid, soft diets may be prepared from a variety of cereals and pulses. Sprouted grains are easily digestible and provide good nutrition. Fat and sugar help in reducing the bulk of the diets and make them energy dense. Milk may be mixed with cereal diet to avoid lactose malabsorption. If milk is not tolerated, it may be replaced by an equal volume of curd/yogurt/soymilk. Mashed vegetables may be incorporated in the diet. Feeding becomes easier after the infection subsides. About 6-8 feeds should be given during the day so that the extra food (120-140 Kcal/kg) may be consumed by the child without any difficulty.

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