World ORS Day 2021 : ORS – The economically viable elixir

The recent covid times have helped so much in shaping the minds of people and maybe even correct many misconceptions that had existed since a long time. Right from believing that work can never be done at home to getting the basics of a lifestyle right. And I believe this is so so important. The smallest of good things around us never heard so much from an importance previously, at least they did not steal the limelight. And I’m talking about health remedies that come in smaller sizes. 


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For example the lemon that was probably not so important until the pandemic had hit us. Today on the occasion of World ORS Day, this is a small piece of praise for such another hero. A big benefit that comes in a small package and yes does not have so much of praise as of yet. 


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The packet of Oral rehydration salts, which is commonly known as ORS is the hero for the day. Mythologies have been talking about elixirs, the life saving potions for which the good and bad forces had waged wars and came at a very high cost. So much of a melodrama. But then the elixir which I’m talking about is a lifesaver and comes at a very very low cost. 

But obviously unless if someone has their dues pending at the pharmacy. But then everyone would have at least used it once in their lifetime when the stomach is not good. To make one liter of the solution it costs as less as 20 INR. I mean that’s quite cost effective. The cost is actually less than that of a few packaged mineral water bottles to be precise. Now this low cost yet high effectiveness is what makes it an economically viable elixir. ORS is something which is commonly used during an episode of diarrhea or someone is vomiting out of the way. Many of us would not think of diarrhea as a high risk episode but then it does cost a lot of water loss and essential salts are also lost. Something that is extremely essential for the body to function normally. 


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If the body dehydrates to extremes, the cells would stop functioning normally and this can actually kill a person. All this can be prevented if a person is treated on the ORS solution at the right time. And then diarrhea is not the only cause why someone would be dehydrated. Any person who has an episode of vomiting also loses a lot of water and so does someone who is sweating excessively. Some incorrect fitness fads do play a role as well. I mean a few years ago I had heard about people who were reducing their water consumption to cut down on the weight and that is so so wrong. I mean cutting down your weight by reducing their temptation to delicacies is the only way. Reducing water consumption will never it would help. And water consumption has to be adequate throughout the day especially during and after the exercise. So I don’t actually get it how exactly did such ideas came out into the fitness fads. 


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Getting the water consumption wrong would probably mean getting everything wrong. Now there are some medicines which also play a role in the dehydration process. By acting as what we call as diuretics which means that the person urinates more than usual, thus depleting the water content from the body. What’s more ? Our favorite tea and coffee also acts as a diuretic, pressurizing the system. And basically comes back the same thing. Feels good at the moment but not in the long run. 

Age is a very important factor for the common cases of dehydration but that should not be a deciding factor as anyone can get dehydrated. Babies in the first year of age and elderly people have a high chance of getting dehydrated soon but so does anyone who has fever. So the risk does exist for many people and not everyone cares about it. Probably because not everyone is aware of what negligence could cause. In most cases it might be very easy to identify someone needs an ORS or not. 

For example, symptoms such as extreme thirst, inability to drink, dry skin, dark urine, reduced urine, weakness, cramping, headaches, wrinkled skin. I know the list is quite an overwhelmingly one. But then that should not be a concern at least something out of it which will be remembered and that something might help save someone, just one person at a time. 


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Because dehydration is a different issue altogether. If it stays it can kill a person and if treated, it is 100 percent recovery. And it is very easy to treat with the help of an a ORS solution. Except for a small percentage of people who may need intravenous fluids. Even if a person vomits, not 100 percent is thrown out and persisting the therapy will surely help them. Keep trying and the person will surely recover from it. In most cases making the ORS solution is super easy. Get a packet from the pharmacy, open it, get a liter of clean drinking water and that’s it. Mix both and you can consume it. 


One thing to be ensured is that not to keep the solution open and not to keep it for more than 24 hours. Now what if there was some reason a person is not able to get a packet of ORS. A simple recipe is with the liter of clean water, 6 tea spoons of sugar and half teaspoon common salt. This does not give 100 percent effect as compared to an ORS packet. It does not have those salts that the packet has, but then something’s better than nothing and then ORS normally does not lead to side effects. But if someone is on medication for something serious or if someone notices bloating or swelling in the legs after the ORS consumption, then that surely needs to be referred to a doctor. 

But all in all that small bag of ORS is truly truly an economically and easy available elixir and makes it a great example of a big surprise that comes in a small packet. And I bet you wouldn’t disagree.

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