What is dengue?
DENGUE is a mosquito borne disease but found out only after substantial lapse of time from the time of infection of the person concerned. Symptoms of dengue are high fever, headache, vomiting, pain in the joints and muscles in addition to skin rashes, characteristic of dengue.
Dengue is a global problem affecting millions of people every year across the world. It is a serious disease warranting even blood transfusion in acute cases.
Antiviral drug to cure dengue quickly and completely is yet to be formulated though the disease is treated with multiple remedial measures. There are attempts to prevent and control and to cure the disease by deployment of various measures starting from controlling the growth of mosquitos.
Since development of appropriate remedy in curing Dengue is ongoing, some oral care treatments are suggested.
How does dengue affect the body?
When a person is affected by dengue, the first casualty is the liver. The fever affects the functioning of the liver making digestion of normal food difficult, rather impossible. Moreover, dehydration also sets in to aggravate energy loss and fatigue. If these initial symptoms are not addressed immediately to cure dengue and left unattended more serious problem of reduction in platelet count occurs which can be cured only by hospitalization.
Symptoms of dengue
A very serious symptom of dengue is profuse bleeding due to lowering of the platelet count. Reduction of platelet count starts well before the onset of the fever. As the fever itself is detected after considerable lapse of time, it is observed in many cases that the infection of bone marrow also has set in and reduced the plate count.
The stage of dengue fever at which the bone marrow is infected, circulation of blood in the blood vessels decreases. Consequently the blood pressure lowers leading to insufficient blood supply to vital organs. Due to infection, dysfunction of the bone marrow occurs and reduction of platelet count speeds up. Platelet count level is required to be maintained at the desired level as it is necessary for effective blood clotting and to avoid bleeding. Since bleeding is a major complication developed during dengue, it is very urgent to stop bleeding by increasing the platelet count.
As the functioning of the liver becomes delicate and supply of energy to the body is urgently required, giving healthy liquids as diet is the only oral remedy available and appropriate.
Importance of replenishing loss of fluids
Once the initial symptoms of indigestion and dehydration are noticed replenishing loss of fluids in the body and compensating the decreased energy intake due to indigestion are most important. The twin objects are fulfilled by consumption of plenty of liquids including water.
Liquids that can be given during dengue
Many liquid diets can be given to dengue patients which are healthy and easily digestible. Some of them are:
- Coconut water – It is a naturally available delicious liquid diet with nutrients and energy and cooling effect
- Tulsi tea – the ‘sacred leaf ‘tea not only rehydrate but also help the immune system to improve its function.
- Lime juice – It increases digestion and enhances the functioning of the liver
- Papaya juice – It contains natural sugars that boost the energy level in the patient.
- Papaya leaf extract is also a good drink as it is believed to improve the platelet count (though not clinically proven yet)
- Orange juice and Lemon juice – Both are known energizers and enhancers of the function of the liver
- Amla juice has high amount of anti-oxidants that remove toxins from the body and excretes the virus through urine.
- Aloe Vera juice increases healthy bacteria in the intestine and improves digestion. However aloe Vera has to be appropriately cured, washed and the juice prepared carefully.
- Pomegranate juice is nutrient rich and strengthens the functioning of the cardiovascular system, giving strength to the patient to withstand fatigue.
- Vegetable juices – As the dengue patient has difficulty in digesting solid food during fever, vegetable juices can be given which are easily digestible and help rehydration due to high water content in them.
- Soups prepared from mixed vegetables and corn are substitutes for solid food and are rich in nutrients required by the patient.
- Cow milk – Is a balanced diet appropriate for the dengue patient as it provides energy with vitamins and minerals in good measure
- Goat milk is also considered a beneficial drink for dengue patients as it is believed to increase the platelet count which is an urgent need when the patient suffers bleeding.
- Drinks like glucose water, ginger tea and other herbal teas are also beneficial to enhance energy level and to improve the immune system so as to fight the disease.
- Last but not the least is consumption of water as much as possible which relieves the patient of dehydration.