Gastroenteritis, more commonly referred to as stomach flu, with the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea is going around and causing a lot of people to get behind on their fluids. Nancy Naeve Brown asked our medical expert Dr. Kimberlee McKay with Avera McKennan about the importance of staying hydrated even when you throwing up.
Dr. Kimberlee McKay with Avera McKennan says, "Most nausea and vomiting will last about 6 hours. During that time it's really hard to hydrate but if you've gone 24 hours with nothing to eat or drink, you're not peeing like you should, you aren't able to keep fluids down or your heart rate is high; those are all signs you need to be seen by a doctor."
Nancy asks, "Why is it important to keep hydrated? How does it affect the rest of your body?
Dr. McKay says, "If you get too dehydrated it's hard to pick back up. You can faint, and other things. Pregnant women are a lot more susceptible to the effects of dehydrating. They'll get dizzy and faint. Older people and younger people are also susceptible."
Nancy asks, "So what should we do? Should we be drinking coffee or soda?"
Dr. McKay says, "We are a caffeine society, but no. Caffeine is a diuretic. It causes you to flush fluids. It's really important during that time when you are losing fluids that you hydrate little bits at a time, maybe even a tablespoon at a time. You don't want to fill your stomach up. Once you have breaks (in vomiting) you can start increasing your intake. Water is best. Gatorade can be helpful."
Nancy swings to the side of Dr. McKay to show you that she is pregnant. "I want to take this opportunity to say congratulations. We normally don't get to see all of you on TV only from the waste up. We can't wait to meet your baby in 10 weeks."
Dr. McKay says, "I'm already running out of room!"
Nancy says, "We are so excited for you!!
If you have more questions about dehydration and the stomach flu call 877-AT-AVERA.