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When my little girl had sickness and diahorrea, we quickly took her to the doctor, because in very young babies (she was under six months), D & V can be very dangerous as they can become dehydrated. She was on breast milk only at the time and a little water, yet she could only keep sips down of water and the milk just came straight back up.
Our doctor advised us to try her with Dioralyte Relief Sachets and we were given the brand at the chemist which we were surprised to see, as usually you get a no branded alternative (ie, you're never given Calpol you're given 'Children's Paracetemol'. But with Dioralyte Relief Sachets we were given two retail boxes of six sachets each, one of blackcurrant and one of raspberry. You can also get them in strawberry, lemon and plain.
Obviously as she's a child we didn't pay for the Dioralyte Relief Sachets, but if you were to buy a box of 6 in our local pharmacy they'd set you back £3.95 which seems about average. I've seen them on sale in most pharmacies and larger supermarkets so they are widely available, and you can also buy them online including Amazon.
**The Science Bit**
Dioralyte basically works to replace lost sugars (glucose) and salts (electrolytes) and helps hydrate the body better than water. The old wives tale of using flat cola with a pinch of salt is basically the same thing (though of course I would never give that to a child) and does have a similar effect on adults, if you can stomach it.
The ingredients are: glucose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride and disodium hydrogen citrate.
Each sachet is plan and white and sealed much like a Lemsip, and is a fine white powder which you mix with water.As my little girl was under 6 months I used 'aired' water (pre boiled, room temperature water) to make sure there were no bugs and so it wasn't a hit of cold water which would most likely have come straight back up again.
It can be administered via a sippy cup or bottle for children (and a glass for adults obviously), we had to use a bottle due to her age, it's important to stir the sachet contents in rather than shake the bottle, as air bubbles can cause colic, which is the last thing a poorly baby needs. It takes about a minute to dissolve and does not colour the water other than making it slightly cloudy. Even though it is flavoured it does not smell once fully dissolved.
I must admit as force of habit I tried a bit and it tasted faintly of raspberry, with a tangy aftertaste from the salt.
My little girl sucked on the bottle expecting milk (even though she was very poorly she was very hungry) and was pretty shocked to find a totally new flavour, and pulled the expected disgusted face! She did go back for little sips and tries of it though, and of the 7oz she drank about 5oz which I was pleased with, as I knew it was doing her good, and it stayed down.
You must discard Dioralyte after it has been made up and not used within 1 hour (much like a regular bottle). You can, if baby prefers, especially at night, add a little boiled water (I added .5 oz to 7 oz) to warm the bottle up slightly to provide comfort where usually baby would have milk.
It's not a miracle cure however I do think Dioralyte Relief Sachets really do help in keeping you hydrated and therefore less nauseous and more likely to be able to stomach a little food after a day or so.
They're easy to keep a stash of in the house and very handy for any upset tummies, especially for children who can so easily go off their food and develop a slight intolerance to milk for a few days due to the acidity levels in their stomachs (which is what the nurse told me). Rather than change to soy milk we were advised to give Dioralyte Relief Sachets and then re introduce dairy products over a few days in order to let the stomach get used to working properly again.
Even if you pay for them Dioralyte Relief Sachets are well worth it and just the relief of seeing baby drinking when they've been so poorly is a great sight. They're great for adults too to help with the headaches you can get from dehydration due to sickness and for older people, also, to make sure they are getting sugar and salts in the absence of foods and other drinks if they can't stomach them.
I will give Dioralyte Relief Sachets 5 out of 5 as they really have been a great product to use in our family.
We are a family with gippy tummies, myself and youngest daughter suffer with IBS, which touch wood is well controlled these days but still flares up from time to time. My eldest daughter has what is known in the family as Pantyffynnon (phoneticallyish Pant-uh-fun-on) stomach which they claim my husbands family have suffered with since time immemorial, anything out of the ordinary like Christmas dinner, exams, lack of sleep, looking at her in a funny way will set it off. So our medicine cupboard has always had more than its fair share of anti-emetics and diarrhoea remedies stashed within.
I started buying Dioralyte when the girls were little, having had dire warnings from my mother about the risks of dehydration during and after a stomach bug I was well aware of the need to keep them well hydrated despite their bodies best attempts to evacuate all fluids. We have recently used the raspberry flavoured Diarolyte remedy, thanks to my sister who along with a stomach bug passed on some non prescription items which she had been given by her local pharmacy (they had to dispose of them due to water damage to the outer packaging and her friend works there).
These sachets are a little different to the standard version as they contain very finely milled rice powder which helps to bulk up the horrible watery diarrhoea which can be so crampy on the tummy. The theory is that it slows down the passage of the waste and because it's not quite so watery makes it less uncomfortable to pass. Hopefully slowing it down also allows your body to retain more fluids than it would otherwise. The other ingredients replace the bodies fluids and help balance potassium levels which can plummet when dehydrated, it also helps balance electrolytes. All this is very important for everyone, but especially for little bodies which can become dehydrated much faster than we sometimes realise, which can be dangerous and even fatal at all ages.
This product can also be useful to rehydrate after prolonged exposure to the sun, or after a feverish illness or anywhere where the body experiences unusual levels of dehydration, though in these cases perhaps the standard sachets without the finely milled rice would be more suitable.
To make it up you add 200mls of cold water to the sachet (I tend to not take any risks and use cooled boiled water, which if you are using for babies under a year old you have to do anyway). You take one sachet after each loose stool, but only up to 5 times a day.
This needs more of a stir than the basic versions as the rice doesn't dissolve as such and is just distributed through the drink, to me it has a texture a little bit like very thin wallpaper paste and looks a little milky, I was surprised that it wasn't as gross to drink as I expected. The flavour of raspberry was apparent, but there was a slight underlying saltiness and something I can't quite put my finger on
I think this is a more gentle way of managing the symptoms of a tummy bug than tablets which stop the action in its tracks and may not be suitable for children or the elderly. Dioralyte doesn't stop the diarrhoea it but it prevents dangerous side effects and helps keep you more comfortable while the bug rages through your innards. Tablets such as Imodium taken when suffering from something such as gastroenteritis or food poisoning I feel can't be entirely good for you as your body is trying to expel a harmful substance and the tablet will stop that happening. I feel the place for tablets is with IBS or similar, a slightly gippy stomach, or at towards end of a stomach bug when the bacteria or virus has done its worst but the stomach/intestines can't quite settle back down.
I would normally use a home made remedy if and when required which everyone concerned finds more palatable than shop bought items. It is made from everyday store cupboard ingredients (Salt, Sugar and cooled boiled water)and because of the low cost of the ingredients is incredibly cheap. I feel I should mention this as if you have young children and they are poorly it's not always possible to dash out to the shops to buy a remedy, or if you are unlucky you may not have the money required to purchase something that costs close to £5 immediately that it's needed. Also the home made version we use can be given to babies in a bottle, which a thickened version with rice may not be suitable for. You can see a version of the medically approved recipe I use here: http://rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htm#recipe . However it was nice to have a product to hand that was simple to prepare when we went down with the lurgy and it did help us to feel more human while we were going through the motions so to speak. Personally I wasn't keen on the flavour and didn't feel it made a lot of difference to palatability. It also doesn't have any pain killing properties and doesn't help with any cramping.
This product can be used for infants from 3 months up.
I got mine free, but currently the blackcurrant version is listed on Tesco groceries website at £3.85 for 6 sachets, and £3.57 at Asda, for some reason I haven't seen the raspberry one on the websites.
One of the many things I do not miss about having a young child in the house is the fact that they forever bring home whatever illness is doing the rounds and then pass the bug onto the poor parents. It took just a few moments spent with a grizzly baby who was about to start projectile vomiting to pass on the latest stomach bug to both me and my daughter. My daughter has a kidney disorder and so dehydration can quickly become serious for her so I like to give her some kind of rehydrating sachets when she has a tummy bug. The local chemist showed me the new Dioralyte Relief sachets and told me they contained rice as well as the electrolytes which helps when you have the runs to bung you up a bit. I decided to give them a go instead of the standard sachets I have used before, they cost £3.99 for a pack of 6 sachets in a local pharmacy which was 30p more expensive than the standard sachets.
Dioralyte contains the salts your body loses during diarrhoea and needs to be diluted with 200ml of cold water to make it the correct concentration. Mixing it is fairly easy but the rice took a bit of stirring to dissolve. When the drink was ready it was a pale pink cloudy drink which didn't look too appetising. It didn't taste too bad, kind of like a watered down raspberry milkshake and I found it was better to down it as quickly as possible. The instructions say that it can be stored for 24 hours in the fridge once made up but I found the drink quickly separated with the rice sediment falling to the bottom of the glass meaning it needed to be stirred again.
The solution is very effective when you are feeling under the weather due to dehydration after a stomach bug. Both me and my daughter drunk the sachets after the vomiting had stopped and we just had the runs. I know I was feeling weak and had a slight headache and exceptionally dry mouth before I took the sachet and within a short time of drinking the solution I did start to feel better. I found it did rehydrate me better than water on its own and it did slow down my diarrheoa a bit but did not stop it completely. My daughter moaned about the taste and only drank half of a sachet so it did not work as well for her.
Dioralyte Relief is a very effective medicine to use when you are recovering from a stomach bug, the addition of rice did help my tummy to settle down. The only problem is that it might be hard to get kids to drink it because of the taste and the fact that it separates out after being left out for a few minutes meaning it needs to be drunk quickly after it is made up.
Dehydration does not just happen when you suffer from sickness and diarrhoea, even lying on the beach in the sun whilst you are on holiday can cause the body to dehydrate / Children are especially at risk of this / Dioralyte Relief is a rice based oral rehydration treatment / The varients rapidly replace lost salts and reduce the duration of diarrhoea / Dioralyte Relief is available in two flavours: raspberry and blackcurrant / Dioralyte Relief hydrates more effectively than glucose based treatments and is proven to be more that 25 times more effective at rehydration than tap water / Dioralyte Relief is also sugar-free and is suitable for children as young as 3 months.