HEALTHY HYDRATION

The importance of hydration

So what is hydration?

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Facts about water

Our body is made up of over two thirds water. This water is responsible for helping our bodies to perform such functions as: 
  • Lubrication of the joints
  • Transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the cells via blood (which is made up of 83% water)
  • Removing toxins and waste from the body
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Protection of our internal organs and tissues.

What is the impact of dehydration

Dehydration simply occurs when the normal levels of body fluid is reduced.  You may find you experience:
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Thirst
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
In more extreme cases:
  • Confusion
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of strength
  • Tiredness
  • Unable to pass urine
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Irritability
  • Reduced bowel movements

Causes of dehydration

What is the impact of dehydration?

The risk of dehydration can be drastically increased during bouts of illness, during exercise or when drinking alcohol.

Illness

Dehydration is often the result of an illness, such as gastroenteritis, where fluid is lost through persistent bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. Gastroenteritis is often caused by the Norovirus and Rotavirus. Norovirus (winter vomiting bug), is the most common stomach bug in the UK and each year it is estimated that between 600,000 and 1 million people in the UK catch the winter vomiting virus. See our infographic to find out more and for some tips on what you can do. Those with an underlying medical condition, like diabetes, are also particularly vulnerable to dehydration.

Sport and Exercise

Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration, and is what causes many of the symptoms we attribute with having a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it causes excessive urination resulting in loss of water and, consequently, dehydration. The best way to avoid this happening is not to drink alcohol. However, if you do, drink sensibly and stay within the recommended allowance and drink plenty of water.

HOW HYDRATED AM I?

Do you think you drink enough fluids? Take our short quiz and find out?

1  Do I drink 6-8 glasses of water per day?
2  Is my urine light yellow (straw coloured)?
3  Does my skin rebound immediately when pinched (skin turgor test)?
4  Does my nail return to normal colour within two seconds after applying 5 seconds of pressure (capillary refill test)?

If you have answered yes to all of the question, then you are hydrated. If you have answered no to two or more, it could indicate you may be dehydrated. Scroll down for some top tips on how to stay hydrated.

How to stay hydrated

Aim to drink the recommended 6-8 glasses of fluids, try to drink little and often through the day.
Keep a glass / bottle of water on your desk at work / home.
 
Remember to increase your intake of fluids during hot weather.
 
Keep an eye on the colour of your urine (check urine colour test).
 
 
Eat hydrating fruits and vegetables as they contain lots of water such as cucumber, celery and watermelon.
 
 
You should try to drink plenty of water when you have been drinking alcohol. The headache associated with a hangover indicates that your body is dehydrated.
 
 
 

ABOUT DIARRHOEA

Diarrhoea is the frequent passing of loose or watery stools (faeces or poo) more than is normal for you. You may also experience stomach cramps, an elevated temperature, flu-like symptoms, vomiting and dehydration.
It can affect babies, children and adults at any time and can be both unpleasant and embarrassing. Diarrhoea and vomiting are more serious in babies than older children, because babies can easily lose too much fluid from their bodies and become dehydrated. Dioralyte treats dehydration caused by diarrhoea, by providing fast and effective replacement of body salts.

Did you know?

43%* of UK adults have suffered from Diarrhoea as the result of virus (such as norovirus/rotavirus)
* (56 out of 133 UK adults surveyed)

Busy day at work?

Stress and anxiety can also cause you to have diarrhoea

Can I prevent diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea can be infectious so it important to prevent it from spreading.
By following the handy health and food hygiene tips below you can prevent passing it on to others
Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food

Health and hygiene

  • Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet (including the handle and the seat) after each episode of diarrhoea
  • Use separate towels and flannels, cutlery and utensils from other family members
  • Do not return to work or school until 48 hours after the episode of diarrhoea
  • Some probiotics could also help to prevent diarrhoea
Do not store cooked and raw foods together

Food hygiene

Diarrhoea is a common symptom of food poisoning. Practising good food hygiene will help prevent getting diarrhoea.
  • Wash your hands prior to and after preparing food
  • Do not store cooked and raw foods together
  • Always cook food thoroughly
  • Pay attention to the sell-by/use by dates and do not eat foods beyond these dates
  • Ensure food is properly refrigerated
 

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts found in foods such as yoghurt and are encouraged as having various health benefits and may help treat diarrhoea following treatment with certain antibiotics.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates which act as food for probiotics and are found in lots of foods such as tomatoes, asparagus, and onions. It’s thought that eating prebiotics causes more protective bacteria to grow in the gut.

About traveller’s diarrhoea

Travelling is a great experience, but it can be spoilt by the onset of traveller’s diarrhoea. Caused by bacterial or viral infections, it is a common condition among travellers, and usually lasts 3-5 days.**
** If your diarrhoea persists for longer than 72 hours you should seek medical advice.
Traveller’s diarrhoea is spread through poor hygiene and can occur during or after travel. It affects 20-60% of travellers around the world and particularly affects those who travel from developed to developing countries, especially tropical and semi-tropical destinations.

How can I prevent traveller’s diarrhoea?

You can take steps before and whilst travelling to minimise the risk of traveller’s diarrhoea.

Take extra care with food

Diarrhoea on holiday can be prevented by taking extra care with food.
  • Ensure food is cooked properly and piping hot when it is brought to you
  • If you are using a BBQ, ensure the meat is cooked and piping hot. Also use separate utensils for raw and cooked meat
  • Always keep leftovers refrigerated
  • Peel fruit and vegetables or wash them in sterile water before consuming
  • It is advisable to avoid drinking tap water or any drinks that may have been made using tap water (fruit squash, smoothies, ice cubes or crushed ice)
  • You may also want to avoid shellfish, unpasteurised cheese, salad and raw vegetables, raw and undercooked meat, eggs and mayonnaise.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene at home or away is important and can prevent spreading diarrhoea.
  • Always wash your hands before handling food and after using the toilet
  • Ensure cutlery, utensils and plates are clean and sterile prior to using them
  • When camping, do not allow anyone who has felt unwell to prepare the food
  • Keep your fingernails clean and short
  • Take hand sanitiser, a plastic bottle of soapy water and antiseptic wipes when there is no running water available.

Fast relief from dehydration

If you are unlucky enough to suffer with diarrhoea & vomiting whilst on your holiday, remember to pack Dioralyte which can help to keep you hydrated. (If you have any concerns or doubt about the quality of the tap water, then use bottled water when diluting Dioralyte).

YOUR HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS

Be prepared, and stay healthy on holiday with our handy checklist.

SUNCREAM

FIRST AID KIT

INSECT REPELLENT

ANTIHISTAMINES

ANTI-DIARRHOEA PILLS

REHYDRATION SACHETS

Diarrhoea and children

Most babies have the occasional loose stool and it is common for breast-fed babies to have looser stools than formula fed babies.
It is usually caused by a ‘tummy bug,’ (viral gastroenteritis) and can put them at risk of losing too much fluid leading to dehydration. So it is important to keep them hydrated.
Dioralyte is suitable from birth. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine if the child taking the medicine is under 2 years old. Dioralyte Relief is suitable from 3 months. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine if the child taking the medicine is under 1 year old.

Preventing diarrhoea in children

Personal hygiene at home or away is important and can prevent spreading diarrhoea. 
  • Make sure they wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, remember to wash your own hands too!
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet (including the handle and the seat) after each episode of diarrhoea
  • Use separate towels and flannels, cutlery and utensils for other family members
  • Do not send your child to school until 48 hours after their diarrhoea has stopped

Food Intolerance vs Allergy

Food intolerance is NOT the same as a food allergy. Food intolerance is when the body has trouble digesting a certain food substance, or the substance has an unwanted effect on the body. An allergy to a food is an abnormal reaction by the body’s immune system.
The effect of a food allergy can be mild but also dangerous and even life-threatening. The effects usually happen quickly and can sometimes only require a small amount of food to provoke a reaction. Common food allergies include:
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (such as almonds and Brazil nuts)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Sesame
People with food intolerance may suffer digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. Commons foods that cause intolerances include:
  • Milk/Dairy products
  • Wheat and Gluten
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast
  • Histamine (present in foods such as vinegar, processed meats and cheeses)