Symptoms of hypokalemia include: If you ever have any of the symptoms for low sodium or potassium, please contact your medical provider immediately. Although Gatorade was created as a sports drink, statistics show that it is widely consumed by people, especially boys, who lead sedentary lifestyles. Several serious health complications can arise, including: In severe cases, dehydration has led to comas or even death. They should assist residents with drinking, provide a straw, offer a variety of beverages, and offer drinks between mealtimes. Let’s explain how that water loss happens. Any time you eat watermelon, you're getting water and a hefty dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, and electrolytes. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. For example, individuals with Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's disease often have swallowing disorders that affect their hydration. Namely, drinks with caffeine or alcohol. This oral powder comes in individual packets that dissolve in one liter of clean drinking water. As we age, our body goes through several changes that affect how we maintain water balance. It is more important to realize the, Something you may notice about both oral rehydration solutions and most sports drinks is that they both contain some form of sugar, usually in the form of glucose. In addition, psychotropic medications, such as antipsychotics for dementia, cause dryness of the mouth, constipation, or urinary retention. Moderate dehydration is often treated with intravenous (IV) hydration in urgent care, the emergency room, or even the hospital. ½ level teaspoon (tsp) of salt (sodium chloride), ½ level teaspoon (tsp) of salt substitute (potassium chloride), ½ level teaspoon (tsp) of baking soda, dissolved into. Unknown, but per the NUUN website, this product is hypotonic, or <285, *Normal plasma osmolality is 285-295 milli-osmoles per kilogram. Some of the consequences of too much of it include: 1. Potassium is important for muscle and nerve cells. Edited by Tessa Chatham, RN, MSN, BSN, PCCN. If there’s resistance, it’s perfectly fine to add natural juice or milk. Sports drinks are formulated to replace electrolytes lost in sweat during exercise. , or inadequate water and electrolytes in the body. Those with diabetes can also be at risk, especially if they urinate frequently. If they’re in a nursing home, talk with the staff about these issues if they affect your senior. It is more important to realize the higher the osmolality, the greater the chance of osmotic diarrhea. While uncommon, those with chronic diarrhea can be at risk for hyponatremia, or low blood levels of sodium, due to extra losses from the stool. When you have diarrhea, your body loses extra water, plus the important electrolytes: Those with inflammatory diarrhea (e.g. You should also follow up with their doctor if your loved one recently had an illness that caused vomiting or diarrhea, as these could reduce their fluid to dangerous levels. Homemade Electrolyte-Rich Drink. Read the following excerpt from Chapter 17 of my book, “The Diarrhea Dietitian: Expert Advice, Practical Solutions, and Strategic Nutrition”. Therefore, rehydration beverages containing all three components. Nevertheless, sports drinks may work for those with mild diarrhea, or if you are unable to access a better alternative. Those with inflammatory diarrhea (e.g. In my experience, this is often due to dehydration, or inadequate water and electrolytes in the body. Replacing potassium is a little trickier. An important note – Seniors with medical conditions like heart failure or kidney failure may have more specific fluid needs, often times requiring fluid restrictions or limitations. You can make your own ORS at home with the following recipe: One of the difficulties in assessing ORS is identifying the quantities of sodium and potassium in a given volume. Gatorade is a popular sports drinks that is commonly used for general rehydration, and often a favorite for kids and teenagers. Dehydration can also be caused by exercise, heat, or even travel. With the right ingredients, you can whip up your own electrolyte-infused drink. Be sure to consult with their doctor before making changes to a loved one’s diet or liquid intake. Sports drinks are formulated to replace electrolytes lost in sweat during exercise. When dehydration has advanced to a more critical stage, the symptoms can become more severe. The World Health Organization (WHO) has studied and used oral rehydration solutions extensively in Third World countries for many years to treat severe diarrhea such as colera. The ‘Negative Effects’ of Gatorade. Seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia are often at the greatest risk for dehydration. If your loved one is thirsty that means they’re already dehydrated. If your loved one has certain conditions, there are some added challenges to ensuring they stay hydrated. Nevertheless, sports drinks may work for those with mild diarrhea, or if you are unable to access a better alternative. Bear in mind – older adults (especially those 80 and older) can’t drink a full 8-ounce glass of water all at once. The symptoms of dehydration are subtle and can be masked by other common signs of aging. The next time you're feeling dehydrated, grab any of the above drinks to get your body back in balance! may have extreme losses of fluid and electrolytes, leading to a dangerous form of dehydration that can be life threatening. You may see: If symptoms do not remedy themselves quickly, caregivers should get their loved one to a hospital. Crohn’s disease. ) Mild dehydration can be treated by having the person take more fluids by mouth. Dehydration is quite common, but it’s also very preventable. Seniors with certain medical problems have an increased risk for dehydration. Unfortunately, Gatorade is far from the best option, but you can replace it with far more nourishing and hydrating beverages. However, by the time we’re 80 years old, the amount of water in our body decreases by about 15% from when we were 20. The quantities of sodium and potassium are not high enough to replace those lost by chronic diarrhea. A favorite of athletes and workout warriors, Gatorade is chock full of electrolytes—but it's also high in sugar. It’s best to have the person drink something with electrolytes, such a rehydration solution, a sports drink, juice, or even bouillon. Like a sports drink, coconut water also has sugar. It's not a drink, but watermelon is 92% water. Drinking small sips throughout the day is the best approach. In my experience, this is often due to dehydration. When I recommend electrolyte replacement, it depends on the frequency and severity of the diarrhea. By clicking "Request Free Info", you agree to our, The inability to produce tears while crying. Severe dehydration may require additional intervention to support the kidneys, or even short-term dialysis. Adequate fluid allows the body to regulate temperature through sweating, maintain blood pressure, and eliminate bodily waste. Low potassium in the blood, called hypokalemia, can be life-threatening. It’s important to note that the symptoms below will not definitively prove that your loved one has dehydration. Do not worry about the exact number. For example, a 150-pound woman would need 50 ounces of water daily, or about six 8-ounce glasses of water. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive, is, “Should I drink Gatorade for my diarrhea?” My short answer is: No. Use this list as a guide and talk to their healthcare provider with your concerns. Severe hypokalemia often requires hospitalization and intravenous (IV) replacement. With the … When a senior is severely dehydrated, they can suffer from more than just cramps and headaches. They provide fluid through a small IV needle placed into the skin of the belly or thigh. the form of salt. Patients with illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhea (such as those undergoing chemo) are at the highest risk. Seniors also experience a decline in muscle mass, which affects water retention. If you’re concerned about dehydration, or your loved one needed treatment recently, speak to their doctor about changing medication and any other strategies to prevent dehydration.

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