Monday, March 7, 2011

Sneak Peek - an excerpt from "The Prepared Family Guide to Uncommon Diseases"

Here is a sneak peek of our upcoming booklet "The Prepared Family Guide to Uncommon Diseases".  My dear friend Julianne called this morning needing an Oral Rehydration Therapy recipe to treat her sweet little man Gabe, who was suffering with acute food poisoning and it occurred to me, being flu season and all, others might find information on dehydration helpful as well.

Enjoy your "sneak peek".  There is more to come.....


Dehydration results when the body loses more liquid than it takes in.  This can happen with severe diarrhea, especially when there is vomiting too.  It can happen in very serious illness, when a person is too sick to take much food or liquid.  Anyone can become dehydrated but it develops more quickly and is most dangerous in small children.  When a person has watery diarrhea, or diarrhea and vomiting, do not wait for signs of dehydration – Act quickly.

  • ·   Give lots of liquids to drink.  ORT (oral rehydration therapy) is best; or give a thin cereal porridge or gruel, teas, soups or even plain water.
  • ·   Keep giving food.  As soon as the person will accept food, give frequent feeding of foods he likes or will accept.
  • ·   For babies – keep offering breast milk often, before other drinks.

Oral Rehydration Therapy


1 Liter (quart) boiled water
1 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons sugar
1 mashed banana (for potassium and improved taste) Optional

If you leave out banana, replace with a potassium supplement.

CAUTION:  Before adding the sugar, taste the drink and be sure it is less salty than tears.


1 Liter (quart) boiled water
½ teaspoon salt
8 heaping teaspoons of cereal (finely ground maize, wheat flour, sorghum or cooked and mashed potatoes

Boil for 5 to 7 minutes to form a liquid gruel or watery porridge.  Cool the drink quickly and start administering.

CAUTION:  Taste the drink each time it is used to be sure it is not spoiled.  Cereal drinks can spoil in a few hours in hot weather.

*To either drink add half a cup of fruit juice, coconut water or mashed ripe banana, if available.  This provides potassium which may help the person accept more food and drink.

*Give the dehydrated person sips of this drink every 5 minutes, day and night, until he begins to urinate normally.  A large person needs 3 or more liters (quarts) a day.  A small child usually needs at least 1 liter (quart) a day, or 1 glass for each watery stool passed.  Keep giving the drink often in small sips, even if the person vomits.  Not all of the drink will be vomited.

Foods for a person with Diarrhea

When the person is vomiting or feels too sick to eat, he should drink:
·      Watery mush or broth of rice, maize powder or potato
·      Rice water (with some mashed rice)
·      Broth (chicken, meat, egg or bean)
·      Rehydration drink
·      Breast milk.

As soon as the person is able to eat, in addition to giving the drinks listed above, he should eat a balanced selection of the following foods:

Energy Foods
·      Ripe or cooked bananas
·      Crackers
·      Rice, oatmeal or other well-cooked grain
·      Fresh maize (well-cooked and mashed)
·      Potatoes
·      Applesauce (cooked)
·      Papaya
*It helps to add a little (a very small amount) sugar or vegetable oil to the cereal foods.

Body-Building Foods
·      Chicken (boiled or roasted)
·      Eggs (boiled)
·      Meat (well-cooked without fat/grease)
·      Beans, lentils or peas (well-cooked and mashed)
·      Fish (well-cooked)
·      Milk (in some can cause more diarrhea.  If this happens, try giving less milk and mixing it with other foods).

If Dehydrated Do NOT Eat or Drink
·      Fatty or greasy foods
·      Most raw fruits
·      Any kind of laxative or purge
·      Alcoholic drinks
·      Highly seasoned food


  1. Wonderful info Enola!

    One should never use Pre-sweetened Koolaid brand
    packets in treating N&V or dehydration.
    The artificial sweeteners used have diuretic properties. The worse thing you could do is make the patient lose more body fluid flushed from the kidneys.

    Also, Be cautious and very conservative of the glucose(sugar addition) intake if you are treating a hyper or a hypoglycemic person with ORT.

  2. Are you going to make your guide available for all (I guess I am asking, are you planning on selling it?) I was discussing your blog with my family and friends and they were all very interested in the guide to uncommon diseases.
    On another note, I was at church this Sunday and someone came in with a copy of the Backwoods Magazine and a quart of canned Bacon. I was so excited and said "I know the author of that article". In reality, I don't know you but feel as if I do since I read your blog faithfully. Thank you for all your wonderful posts! I enjoy reading and learning from you. God Bless.

  3. You wrote:

    "Body-Building Foods ... Meat (well-cooked with fat/grease)"

    and then just below wrote:

    "If Dehydrated Do NOT Eat or Drink ... Fatty or greasy foods"

    Please clarify.

    Thanks for all you do!

  4. The body building foods are for after a person is eating again (not dehydrated!), as noted just above that section. The following was a list of foods not to consume while in the midst of dehydration. Once your stomach has begun to settle down, it is important to begin replacing the nutrients that were lost due to vomiting and diarrhea, which include nutrients found in the fat/grease of meats. Because this is a blog post, it is hard to separate sections properly. I'm sorry for any confusion!


  5. Enola, you are the greatest! Thanks for this timely info. I surely would like to buy copies of your booklet when it's published. Looking forward to it and your COOK BOOK. hehehe

    Please read your email, I sent something about a week ago regarding Maid Elizabeth's trip and hope you'll reply when you can. Thanks.

    NoCal Gal

  6. Was that a sneak peak or a tease??? It looks wonderful, Enola. I'm excited about adding it to our resources. Please tell me you are going to allow us to buy it from you.

  7. Two other things I'd add to this list. For a long time, I've kept Acidophilus with probiotic Capsules on hand. Acidophilus is the "active ingredient" in yogurt, but much more concentrated. For older kids and adults, we take 3 capsules at the first signs of nausea or diarrhea. For little ones or those unable to swallow pills, I open the capsule and mixed the powder with some applesauce. The Acidophilus tastes rather creamy.

    I had a 9 month old brought to me to babysit who had been having diarrhea all night long. Her mom put her in the car in a clean diaper and by the time they made the 10 minute trip, the diaper was messed in. I gave her the acidophilus and changed her a second time. In about 15 minutes the diarrhea ended. I've done the same thing with my kids for vomiting. If one dose doesn't work, you can give more as you can't "overdose" on it, though I've only had to do a second dose on very few occasions.

    The second thing I'd recommend is to culture your own kefir. Kefir is another probiotic that is a bit different from yogurt. It is a "SCOBY" - symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. The kefir "grains" look like small pieces or clumps of cauliflower. Unlike yogurt which has to be added to warm milk and kept at a warm, rather constant temperature, kefir is put into cold milk and left to culture in a room temperature kitchen cabinet.

    While the bacterial in yogurt doesn't "stay" in the stomach, but passes through the digestive track, the SCOBY in kefir lines the stomach and intestinal track with healthy bacteria.

    I started having nausea after being exposed to "the flu", so I drank a cup of kefir. In a matter of about 15 minutes, I noticed that I was feeling better and never did come down with whatever stomach virus I had been exposed to. And no, it's not that I have a "healthy" immune system. Right now, I'm trying to keep from stressing out over being single and unemployed in an area that has a VERY high unemployment rate (rural - so there ARE no jobs), having to move unexpectedly as well as down size from a 4 BEDROOM house with nice size rooms to a 4 ROOM duplex with SMALL rooms. I have things I need to get out of storage, but have no place to put them (some of it's my long-term food storage!) Add to that a son making some BAD choices that now have resulted in a little life that has parents that are both unemployed and don't WANT to be employed as well as a married daughter in preterm labor. And my car just decided that the transmission would no longer work.

    So, yeah, I was ripe for getting sick as a dog. I credit the kefir (and blessing from our Father in Heaven!) with stopping the virus in it's tracks. You can drink kefir every day, just don't drink more than about 2 cups and work up to that. You can flavor it much like you would yogurt.


  8. Oh, and you shouldn't have to buy the grains. Many people have them and are willing to GIVE them away! The grains multiply and then you have to divide them or they cause the culture to culture too fast. They multiply in about a week's time to the point of needing to be divided. Faster in warmer weather.