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hydration

Gentle Oral Rehydration

If you are vomiting or have diarrhea, the greatest danger to your health is dehydration. This means your body doesn’t have enough water to function normally. Some symptoms of dehydration are thirst, weakness, and dizziness, especially when you stand up quickly. The best way to treat dehydration is with frequent, small amounts of liquids. Drinking too much or too fast can trigger more vomiting.

To rehydrate after vomiting:

1. Don’t eat or drink anything for two hours.

2. Once you have gone two hours without vomiting, take a sip of clear liquids every 5 minutes for two hours.Clear liquids include: water; chicken broth; apple, grape, or cranberry juice; Jell-O; popsicles; and caffeine-free soda. If you vomit, go back to Step 1.

3. If you can handle sips of clear liquids without vomiting, you may take two swallows of clear liquids every 5 minutes for two hours. If you vomit, go back to Step 1.

4. If you can handle swallows of clear liquids without vomiting, you may add soft foods such as mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, white bread, and rice. Avoid dairy products and caffeine. Remember—eating too much or too fast can trigger the vomiting all over again. If you vomit, go back to Step 1.

5. If you’ve come this far, you may resume a normal diet. Glad you’re feeling better!

If you haven’t been able to keep anything down for 24 hours, seek medical attention.

To rehydrate if you have diarrhea:

Drink lots of clear liquids. Clear liquids include: water; chicken broth; apple, grape, or cranberry juice; Jell-O; popsicles; and caffeine-free soda. Avoid caffeine, dairy products, and greasy foods.

If you are drinking 8 ounces every hour, and you still feel dehydrated, seek medical attention.

Follow the “BRAT” diet/ These foods tend to be a little constipating, which may help slow down the loss of fluid:

        Bananas
        Rice
        Applesauce (or apples without the peels)
        Toast

Nutrition

Food for Thought

Iron-Rich Foods

People with anemia have fewer red blood cells than they need. Iron-deficiency anemia, the most common form of anemia, is caused by too little iron in the diet. Without sufficient iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for them to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. As a result, you may feel weak, tired, and irritable.
About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body. The solution, in many cases, is to consume more foods high in iron.
Iron from meat is heme iron.

Very good sources of heme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • 3 ounces of beef or chicken liver
  • 3 ounces of clams, mollusks, or mussels
  • 3 ounces of oysters

Good sources of heme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • 3 ounces of cooked beef
  • 3 ounces of canned sardines, canned in oil
  • 3 ounces of cooked turkey

Other sources of heme iron, with 0.7 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • 3 ounces of chicken
  • 3 ounces of halibut, haddock, perch, salmon, or tuna
  • 3 ounces of ham
  • 3 ounces of veal

Iron in plant foods such as lentils, beans, and spinach is nonheme iron. This is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods. Our bodies are less efficient at absorbing nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron.

Very good sources of nonheme iron, with 3.5 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • Breakfast cereals enriched with iron (Cream of Wheat has a lot of iron)
  • One cup of cooked beans
  • One-half cup of tofu
  • 1 ounce of pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds

Good sources of nonheme iron, with 2.1 milligrams or more per serving, include:

  • One-half cup of canned lima beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, or split peas
  • One cup of dried apricots
  • One medium baked potato
  • One medium stalk of broccoli
  • One cup of cooked enriched egg noodles
  • One-fourth cup of wheat germ

How to Get More Iron From Your Food

To improve your absorption of iron, eat it along with a good source of vitamin C — such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries — or eat nonheme iron foods with a food from the meat, fish, and poultry group.

If you have trouble getting enough iron from food sources, you may need an iron supplement. But speak to your health care provider about the proper dosage first and follow his or her instructions carefully. Because very little iron is excreted from the body, iron can accumulate in body tissues and organs when the normal storage sites — the liver, spleen, and bone marrow — are full. Although iron toxicity from food sources is rare, deadly overdoses are possible with supplements.

The Popeye Myth

If you don’t like spinach, don’t worry! It doesn’t really have much iron in it, compared with the foods listed above.