Dehydration diet is prescribed to people who suffer from dehydration, a condition marked by the excessive loss of body fluid which results in drying of muscle mass and skin and other problems like exhaustion. Extreme dehydration, known as medical dehydration, can result in death and is a condition which requires immediate medical attention.
Dehydration can be caused because of a number of reasons. It can be a condition in itself or a result of some other problems. Mostly, diarrhea is the main cause of dehydration, especially in babies and young children. Medically, the condition has many types, but broadly speaking, dehydration is the loss of fluids from the body. Treatment of dehydration depends on how acute or critical the problem is but basically, it is generally treated with a combination of medication and a proper diet. Diet for dehydration encourages intake of a lot of fluids and healthy foods and discourages consumption of any items that might aggravate the situation.
Main Features of a Dehydration Diet
There is no one diet plan to be followed in case of dehydration. The plan is custom made by doctors and dietitians depending upon the age, requirements and limitations of patients and also based on what type of dehydration the patient is suffering from. There are, however, some common features and inclusions:
Lots of water: As loss of fluids is the main characteristic of dehydration, the diet plan makes sure that the body constantly gets all the fluids and liquids it needs. Consumption of plenty of water is greatly encouraged so that the case does not worsen. In a regular case of dehydration, regular drinking of water mixed with salt and sugar might be the only cure needed. In some more complicated cases, however, this is one of the important steps in treatment.
Fresh fruit juice: Instead of canned and packaged juices, fresh fruit juices should be consumed as these are a healthier alternative. Also, packaged juices put a lot of pressure on the body and the digestive system. In dehydration, the bodily systems do not work as effectively as they should and therefore, there should be less pressure on them.
Hydrating fruits: There are various fruits that help to keep the body hydrated, like watermelon and melon and their consumption is greatly encouraged. It is, however, important to note that excessive consumption of these fruits has been known to cause diarrhea. The consumption is, therefore, strictly controlled and regulated in a dehydration diet.
Salt and sugar: Research has shown that glucose and sodium help patients of dehydration recover faster. A standard dehydration mixture is water, salt and sugar and in most cases, this is the best remedy. Foods which have good sugar and salt levels are also encouraged, albeit in controlled quantities.
Foods to be Avoided
High fat and high calorie foods are generally avoided. Instead of red meat, the consumption of white and soft meats is encouraged. In addition, consumption of alcohol, coffee and tea is also discouraged and even when allowed, the quantities are very controlled.
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