While most people have heard about — or experienced — dehydration, the most common remedy that comes to mind is to consume water or sports drinks with electrolytes. But, when dehydration is severe, the condition can cause a person to experience seizures and go into shock. To treat moderate to severe cases of dehydration, your doctor may recommend intravenous (IV) rehydration.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Dehydration symptoms can range from mild to severe. In mild to moderate cases, a person will experience the following manifestations:
- Increased thirst
- Rapid breathing
- Dry lips
- Dry tongue
Severe dehydration cases will make a person experience the following symptoms:
- Rapid heart rate
- Severe dizziness that doesn’t allow the person to stand or walk
- Poor skin elasticity — if you pinch it, it goes back to its original position slowly
- No urine output — or little urine that’s dark yellow or amber
What is hydration therapy?
Hydration therapy involves inserting an IV line into a vein in your arm to administer fluids full of electrolytes — these could include magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, sulfate, or calcium, to name a few. The exact combination of fluids will depend on several factors — your age, medical history, existing medical conditions, and the severity of the dehydration.
What are the benefits of a hydration infusion?
1. It works faster. When a person takes hydration orally, they have to wait for the fluids to go through the gastrointestinal tract. This can take a long time. On the other hand, since hydration infusion is inserted directly into a vein, the solution goes straight into your bloodstream, which provides a faster absorption than when taken orally.
2. It can be customized for you. Healthcare professionals take into account your height, weight, gender, medical history, existing medical conditions, and the severity of your dehydration before deciding which type of fluids would work best for you. Using this information, they create a custom solution designed to target what you need.
3. Shorter recovery time. Since the vitamins, electrolytes, and nutrients in hydration therapy reach your bloodstream immediately, you’ll start feeling better much sooner than if you take oral hydration. This is especially crucial when a person is experiencing life-threatening symptoms.
4. It detoxifies your system. Immediate hydration improves blood supply to vital organs — such as your liver and kidneys., In turn, this allows them to flush out toxins from your body more efficiently.
5. It’s easier on your digestive system. In severe cases of dehydration, attempting to drink a large amount of fluids can overload your digestive system. This causes it to flush out what you’re drinking without actually absorbing the vitamins, electrolytes, and nutrients your body needs to recover.
Are there any risks associated with hydration therapy?
Yes. However, these risks are minor and are far outweighed by the benefits. Specifically, you could have an infection at the injection site where the IV needle is inserted. In addition, the IV could become dislodged from the vein — causing the fluids to enter the tissues surrounding the vein. A simple solution for this latter complication involves a healthcare professional reinserting the IV correctly and providing you with a warm compress to prevent or reduce swelling.
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Hydration Therapy, Let Infusion Associates Help You
At Infusion Associates, we provide medically-prescribed infusion therapy for patients with chronic conditions in a welcoming and friendly environment. Our team of healthcare professionals is fully committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible for you or your patients. We always inform patients of any potential side effects and answer all their questions before starting treatment. In addition, we have a Registered Pharmacist on-site to make the process as seamless as possible.