People with cystic fibrosis (CF) lose excessive amounts of salt when they sweat. This can upset the balance of minerals in the blood and result in dehydration. My son has CF and the doctors have always suggested that I make salty snacks readily available to my son, but no one has ever talked to me about dehydration.
Dehydration didn't become an issue until the year my son made the 7th grade basketball team. We were thrilled with his achievement, but it was definitely a bitter sweet experience. The good news is his lung function test scores shot up! However, the team played hard for two hours a day, 5 times a week. The rest of the kids went home tired and hungry, but our son would regularly fall into bed experiencing flu-like symptoms. Even though he didn't have a fever, he'd experience uncontrollable shivering. I was so focused on his lungs that I thought he was stirring up infected mucus, which resulted in these intense symptoms. However, the very next morning he'd climb out of bed feeling good enough to go to school.
When I described the situation to doctors, no one had answers. It took us way too long to realize his electrolytes were out of balance and these were symptoms of dehydration. Electrolytes are mineral substances (sodium, potassium, and chloride) that conduct electrical currents in the body and maintain tissue fluids. The balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for the normal functioning of body cells and organs. Electrolytes are needed to prevent dehydration that is typically caused by diarrhea, vomiting, fever or heat exhaustion.
My son is now 20 years old and knows he must have plenty of fluids when he exercises. However, we still had a dehydration episode this summer. My son's employer called me alarmed because my son was very sick (dizzy, nauseous, heart beating out of control). They asked that I come get him because he was too ill to drive himself home. When I arrived at his workplace, I was shocked to find him so sick that he was lying on the floor and feeling too dizzy to walk to the car. I really didn't know what to think, but decided we should first treat him for dehydration. I keep bottles of PediaVance organic electrolyte solution on hand because dehydration can pop up with no warning. He doesn't necessarily like the taste of any of the electrolyte solutions, but it works like a charm. He was feeling significantly better within an hour.
I recommend PediaVance because it’s made with organic ingredients. I hate giving my kids dyes…like Red-40 and Blue-1 used in other brands. Also PediaVance is made with organic white grape juice. None of the other brands use real juice and they’re overly sweet due to the artificial sweeteners and flavors.
Karla- CF Mom