It's not been the start to the new year we wanted.
My wife has caught a bug or something that has caused her to have a constant headache and sickness since the 29th of December. For three days she couldn't even keep a glass of water down, making it very difficult to keep her hydrated.
In the end, on New Years day, we went to see the out of hours GP at the hospital while a friend looked after the children. He gave her an anti sickness injection so she could at least get hydrated. Since then she has improved a little, drank water but still not eaten anything. She's had to miss the first couple of days at her new job and she's really gutted about this - not the first impression you want to make.
It does make you grateful about certain things though, the fact that we know how to treat something that we see as simple like hydration when your ill. Just the knowledge that keeping hydrated is important is enough to prevent sickness becoming more serious (kidney damage, death, etc) and the knowledge that we now know to give salts at the same time has save millions around the world.
Taking a solution with the right levels of salt and sugar can increase water absorption into the body by 2 - 3 times, but if the level is wrong then if can exacerbate dehydration.
We buy ours in ready made packs that we mix with water (and normally a little squash to make it taste better), it's worth having a good stock of these as they don't go off very fast, but it's simple to make your own in an emergency.
1 Litre of Fresh water
4 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
The official stuff has more in it, UNICEF's ingredients list reads like this
2.6 grams of salt
2.9 grams of trisodium citrate dihydrate
1.5 grams potassium chloride
13.5 grams anhydrous glucose (a sugar)
1 liter of clean water
When I was looking for information on this I came across Tokyo's Disaster Preparedness Website where they have a free PDF download on how to deal with a disaster and respond to an emergency. Really worth a read, click the link here.
Have you ever had to make your own rehydration salts?