Coke and pretzel sticks for diarrhea?



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Do cola and pretzel sticks help with diarrhea?

Almost everyone has already received the tip to fall back on cola and pretzel sticks if they have diarrhea. But is there something to this recommendation or is it just a myth? Actually it is rather unhealthy food.

Sometimes it is a salad that has not been properly cleaned, sometimes it is a roll that has been lying in the sun for too long in hot temperatures. It is often viruses that haunt us after a meal and then spoil the meal afterwards. Diarrhea feels uncomfortable and draws important nutrients from the body in addition to water. For many, cola and pretzel sticks are the first choice to make up for the loss. For our cells, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are essential substances that ensure their functions. Sugar helps to transport the salts from the intestine into the body.

A myth Tom Ganten, senior physician in gastroenterology at the Heidelberg University Clinic, tells "SPIEGEL" that this combination is not really suitable for fighting diarrhea. In addition to sugar, cola also contains caffeine, which is problematic at least for children and more likely to promote diarrhea.

The doctor says: “Furthermore, the high sugar content leads to increased water excretion via the kidneys. This may result in the loss of even more fluid and important electrolytes such as potassium. "A study in the Internal Journal of Clinical Practice even came to the conclusion that large amounts of cola of two to three liters a day can cause potassium deficiency.

Even hydration helps "Sodium and potassium are tightly regulated in the body," explains the doctor. "As a rule, even with diarrhea, the organism can do this as long as all organs work properly and the necessary substances are available." However, pretzels contain mostly sodium and hardly any potassium. "In the event of diarrhea, both electrolytes are lost and should be taken up again evenly."

In the case of severe and prolonged diarrhea, a different handling can even have serious consequences, since potassium is among other things responsible for the stabilization of the cell membrane of the heart muscle cells and participates in the control of the heart rhythm. A deficiency can lead to paralysis in the body and cardiac arrhythmias. Sodium deficiency manifests itself through tiredness and confusion. In extreme cases, water can build up in the brain tissue and cause edema.

Electrolyzed drinks instead of cola
"At home you can also prepare such a drink yourself," explains Ganten. For this, a teaspoon of salt will be mixed into a liter of boiled water. This ensures the sodium supply. Suitable pharmacies can also be found in pharmacies. The juice of four oranges ensures the potassium intake.

The last ingredient is seven teaspoons of glucose. The sugar provides energy and makes it easier for the body to absorb the electrolytes from the cocktail. If it is a mild diarrhea, tea with a little sugar and rusks soothe the digestive tract. "Drinking a lot is the top priority," says Ganten. "At least three liters a day in adults, depending on the severity of the disease, a lot more may be necessary."

In order to be able to assess whether the water supply in the body is sufficient, a well-perfused nose and moist mucous membranes provide good clues. Tablets, however, are rather unsuitable for treatment. They close the intestine and remove one of its most important functions from diarrhea: it flushes viruses, bacteria and toxins from the digestive tract. Most of these affect the large intestine, which is responsible for absorbing water.

Dry bread and apples If the stomach begins to calm down, you can start eating dry bread. Add a little apple or boiled carrots. "Both contain pectins that are well tolerated and bind toxins," says Ganten. If you have no appetite for a firm apple, you can grate it and process it into porridge.

"Foods with a high fat content are not suitable for diarrhea," says the gastroenterologist. They overwhelm the irritated digestive system. Milk behaves similarly. "Many people cannot tolerate lactose lactose when the intestines are irritated." One reason for this is that the enzyme lactase, which splits the milk sugar in the small intestine, is not available in sufficient quantities when it is inflamed - similar to lactose intolerance.

If the diarrhea is accompanied by a strong weak feeling and does not disappear after three days or if there is blood in the stool, you should see a doctor. This applies particularly to children and the elderly, says Ganten. If you pinch your skin and the wrinkles stop, dark colored urine or a lack of urine excretion are indications of an extreme lack of fluids. "Then medical help must be sought directly." Conclusion: Lightly sweetened tea, rusks and electrolyte solutions support the body better in case of diarrhea than cola and pretzel sticks. (fr)

Image: tokamuwi / pixelio.de

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Comments:

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  5. Dakinos

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