Diarrhea is perhaps the most dreaded disease in this weather. It needs no mention how horrifying it can be. It can suddenly strike without much warning and leave one in a very bad state. Acute summer diarrhoeas can be even life-threatening for small children and old people.
Acute diarrhea is a disorder which leads to a person passing a number of watery stools. It may be accompanied by cramping pain in the abdomen and at times fever too. Food and water-borne bacteria, parasites and viruses cause such problems.
Rapid loss of water in the form of watery stool can cause a situation known as dehydration which can disrupt the normal functioning of the body. Along with it, the essential salts (electrolytes) of the body are also lost. A combined loss of both water and electrolytes can lead to serious consequences.
How to identify dehydration?
Signs of dehydration are increased thirst, decreased output of urine, dry skin (a simple pinch on the skin can show the dehydration of the skin), extreme fatigue, light-headedness and the colour of the urine turning dark.
In small children dehydration might show up in a slightly different form – absence of urine for more than three hours, absence of tears when crying, irritability or complete listlessness, dryness of the mouth and the tongue, and skin that does not flatten when pinched.
Homoeopathy for acute diarrhoeas
While the oral rehydration salts and fluids significantly reduce fatalities from dehydration, they do not treat the underlying infection that is causing diarrhoea. Homeopathic medicines Veratrum Album, Arsenic Album, Podophyllum lead the homeopathic table for treating diarrhoeas and provide quick relief to patients by eliminating the infection.
Veratrum Album is very useful when there is frequent and violent diarrhoea which is very profuse and painful. It is also indicated in cases in which signs of dehydration have started to appear and the patient seems to be in a collapsed state.
Arsenic Album is a leading remedy for diarrhoea caused by food poisoning. It suits in the cases where diarrhoea is worse after eating or drinking.
Podophyllum is indicated when sudden urgency for passing stool is a marked symptom also when profuse, offensive-smelling stools are preceded by great rumbling and gurgling in the abdomen. It is very useful for acute diarrhoeas in infants and small children.
Four to five doses of 30 c potency of the indicated medicine can be taken every hour at the onset of diarrhea. Meanwhile, also consult a physician.
Clean water and food: As water-and-food-borne infections are the biggest culprits in the spread of summer diarrhoeas, the most effective way of prevention is to have safe water and food. Do not eat food from street vendors or have water from unclean places. Already cut fruits and vegetables from outside should be strictly avoided. When away from home, prefer sealed water bottles or aerated drinks.
The best way to prevent dehydration during an acute episode diarrhoea is to have plenty of water. To replenish the electrolytes that are lost along with, one can have sugar (eight parts) and salt (one part) mixed in one litre of boiled and then cooled water or have pre-packed oral rehydration salt (ORS) available with chemists. Three litres of it should be taken by adults and big children in a day. Breast-feed for infants is also a source of electrolytes.