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Medication and Remedies

Thursday 20th October 2016

St. Mark’s Solution

Not quite sure where to post this because it’s not exactly food, so I’ve started a new page.

This is a remedy against dehydration, a common and very real problem for ileostomates. Because one of the functions of the large bowel is the absorption of water from the waste products of digestion, in order to form solid stool, if the large bowel has been removed, this function is no longer present, and one can lose a lot of fluids into the bag. Normally I have been OK because over time, my gut seems to have adjusted, and Kermit’s output tends to be on the thick side, but a recent bout of gastro-enteritis produced much more watery output (the equivalent of diarrhoea) and the risk of dehydration suddenly became very real.#

It is not simply the lack of fluids that is a problem, but dehydration can lead to electrolyte imbalance which can cause serious problems if not treated. Simply drinking water is not enough; it will just pass straight into the bag. The addition of salt and sodium bicarbonate helps restore one’s natural balance of electrolytes.

I have been taking Dioralyte, a proprietory rehydration preparation in the form of a sachet of powder that you dissolve in water to drink, but this morning I decided to make up a litre of St. Mark’s solution – a DIY rehydration remedy developed by St. Mark’s Hospital in London, a hospital specialising in disorders of the bowel.

St. Mark’s Solution

20g/six level 5ml tsp glucose.

3.5g/one level 5ml tsp salt.

2.5g/one heaped 2.5ml 1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate.

Dissolve in 1 litre of water.

Keep chilled in the fridge.

Flavour with a small amount of squash or cordial.

It tastes rather weird and slightly bitter because of the sodium biarbonate but this is mitigated by the addition of some flavouring; the bitterness can also be reduced by storing the solution in the fridge.

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