Apple Juice for Gastroenteritis?
Children with a mild form of gastroenteritis and minimal dehydration may experience fewer medication failures such as IV rehydration or hospitalization when offered half-strength apple juice as their preferred fluid alternative in comparison with kids who have oral electrolyte maintenance solutions to replace fluid losses. These were the findings of a study released online by JAMA.
It should be noted that gastroenteritis is a common illness among kids. Electrolyte maintenance solutions are recommended to prevent loss of water in the body or dehydration, though it’s slightly highly-priced and has an unpleasant taste. Its capabilities in minimally dehydrated children are unproven. In this study, the authors have randomly assigned kids age 6 to 60 months of age who have gastroenteritis and minimal dehydration to receive color-matched half-strength apple juice as their desired fluids or apple-flavored electrolyte maintenance solutions. After their discharge from the hospital, the kids who were given half-strength apple juice were given fluids as they preferred; the kids who were given electrolyte maintenance solutions were maintained with the same maintenance solutions.
The Apple Juice Study
The primary outcome for this study was a combination of treatment failure signs which was defined by any of the following which should occur within 7 days of enrolment: intravenous fluids, hospitalization, unscheduled physician visits, worsening of symptoms, crossover, and weight loss of equal to 3% or more or significant dehydration during follow-up.
Among the 647 randomized children who were recruited for the study, those children who were given diluted apple juice did not have any treatment failure much less in general than those given electrolyte maintenance solutions. Children who were administered apple juice had a fewer chance of getting intravenous rehydration.
According to the authors of this study, the results challenge the advice of experts to commonly administer electrolyte maintenance solutions when diarrhea starts, based on previously published guidelines. According to them “The present study findings, derived from a larger and more heterogeneous population, confirmed via provincial registries, and conducted in an era when complicated episodes of gastroenteritis have become uncommon, may more accurately reflect the effect rehydration fluid choice has on unscheduled medical visits.”
They also added, “In many high-income countries, the use of dilute apple juice and preferred fluids as desired may be an appropriate alternative to electrolyte maintenance fluids in children with mild gastroenteritis and minimal dehydration.”
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