Wellness Wisdom: Treating Dehydration When You're Sick

Season 2, Episode 40

Dr. Briana Sinatra

Dr. Briana Sinatra


In this week’s Be HEALTHistic Video Extra, Dr. Briana Sinatra gives comforting advice for how to treat dehydration when you or your kids get sick. She shares the most effective over-the-counter and homemade oral rehydration solutions, as well as the top method for slow and measured rehydration. Dr. Briana also talks about the best diet to follow to safely introduce foods back in, and how to get your — and your children’s — electrolytes back in balance in this special Wellness Wisdom segment.


Dr. Briana’s Easy Congee Recipe


  • 1 cup rice
  • Optional ingredients: sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cups water
  • Optional toppings: ghee, sesame oil, olive oil, cilantro, and/or green onions


  1. Combine the ingredients and bring them to a boil.
  2. Once boiling consider adding cut up sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and shiitake mushrooms.
  3. Reduce to a simmer for around 1 hour or until it is thick and creamy.

Serving tips: Congee is best served in a bowl. Once in the bowl consider adding ghee, sesame oil, or olive oil, and top with chopped cilantro and/or green onions. Enjoy!


Dr. Briana Sinatra: Hello, this is Dr. Briana Sinatra, and today I wanted to talk to you about ways to treat dehydration.

So when you or your child are dehydrated, either from vomiting or diarrhea, you really want to make sure that you rehydrate as best as you can, because that's super important, to make sure that your electrolytes are balanced — and especially if you have a fever with it, you're going to be burning up a lot of excess water, as well, too, with that elevated temperature. So, rehydrating is super important.

So for over-the-counter options, you can get something like Pedialyte. My only concern with Pedialyte is that it is not organic, and it is GMO. So Earth's Best actually makes a kid's oral rehydration solution — it's organic, and it is non-GMO. So that's one that I would pick if you were going to get one over the counter.

Another option is to make your own oral rehydration solution at home. And so, the World Health Organization actually recommends that you can make it by taking a liter of water — I would use warm water, so it can dissolve easily. Adding in six level teaspoons of sugar — I would use organic cane sugar. And then half a level teaspoon of sea salt. Mix that up, and then you can give that to your kiddo. You just want to make sure that you don't give them too much at once, especially if they've been vomiting, because then that can trigger them to vomit some more.

So what I like to do is give it to them in a measured way. So, I will give them one teaspoon every 15 minutes for an hour, then one teaspoon every 10 minutes for an hour, and then one teaspoon every five minutes for an hour. And after that, as long as they are able to keep that all down, they're usually able to eat and drink a lot easier, based on what their body is asking for. If they throw up at any time during that period of time, then I kind of start back at the beginning, and lengthen out that time between doses.

So after, when you can introduce food, some things to think of are things in the BRAT diet. So that is banana, rice, apple, and toast. So mushed banana, the banana has great potassium in it. Rice, we like to do something like a congee, which can be really easily absorbed and really gentle on the stomach. Apple sauce can be an easy thing, and just plain toast can often go down really well — for us, it would be gluten-free toast.

So I hope those things help, I hope they help keep you rehydrated, and give you some options when your kid is experiencing dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting. Always check in with your health practitioner just to make sure, but those are some good ways to help manage some things at home if you are otherwise feeling good and confident about where your child is at. All the best, thanks for listening, take good care.



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Dr. Briana Sinatra

Meet Dr. Briana Sinatra

Dr. Briana Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor with a vibrant practice in the Pacific Northwest. There she focuses on women’s and family health, taking a holistic approach to healthcare by empowering women with the knowledge and tools they need to live their best life now and protect their future wellness by looking at how all the systems in the body work together and how diet, lifestyle, and environment all influence health.

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