Each year, an average of 650,000 people with cancer receive chemotherapy in the United States, according to the CDC. Chemotherapy has many effects on the body, including causing dehydration.
A solution for this is IV hydration therapy. Keep reading to learn more about how IV hydration therapy can help dehydrated cancer patients.
Why Is Hydration Important During Chemotherapy?
Dehydration is the absence of sufficient water in your body. When you lose more fluids than you take in, dehydration occurs.
Dehydration can have serious impacts on your body, especially when undergoing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
Chemotherapy dehydrates your body because it can cause nausea, vomiting, excessive urination, and diarrhea. It can also change the way food and drink taste, which might affect the amount of food and drink you consume.
Some of the signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
- Little urine
- Low blood pressure
Chemotherapy reduces your white blood cell count, as well, which can increase your risk of developing infections and fever. Fevers can also worsen dehydration.
Staying hydrated is crucial during chemotherapy. As Melissa Picchietti, a clinical oncology dietitian at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) explains, proper hydration helps the body flush out toxins while also reducing some of the side effects of chemotherapy that can cause dehydration.
There are many ways that IV hydration therapy can help cancer patients.
How Can IV Hydration Therapy Help Cancer Patients?
IV hydration therapy delivers fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients directly into your bloodstream. It is a treatment option that gives you instant results, injecting your body with the minerals and vitamins it needs after chemotherapy and its side effects.
A deficiency of certain vitamins and an imbalance of electrolytes can impair the cells in your body. IV therapy can give your body what it needs immediately.
IV hydration therapy bypasses your stomach, which is important for people who have nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. You don’t have to worry about your body rejecting the fluids with intravenous treatment.
Another benefit IV hydration therapy offers is the chance to include medications in the IV fluids. If you have trouble keeping medication down after cancer treatments, you can still get the benefits of your medications when you introduce them through an IV.
Your body can also fully absorb nutrients when they bypass your stomach. When you take supplements, your digestive system removes many of the nutrients, lowering their bioavailability.
In addition, IV hydration therapy makes it easier for your body to flush out toxins and fight free radicals.
During illness, your body creates free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage. IV hydration therapy helps remove these free radicals.
Besides a hydrating saline solution, there are numerous supplements available that you can include in your IV hydration therapy.
Additional Supplements for Cancer Patients
To make your IV treatment as beneficial as possible, you can choose from a variety of supplements and vitamins.
Vitamin C is particularly crucial for people going through chemotherapy. This vitamin and antioxidant has anti-inflammatory and immune system-enhancing features that have led to multiple studies on how the vitamin can help fight cancer.
There are studies that show high doses of intravenous vitamin C can help with fatigue, appetite, and sleep disorders in people with certain types of cancers. It can also help reduce some of the discomfort and pain cancer patients experience.
There are anti-nausea medications you can add to your IV hydration therapy, as well. These can help reduce symptoms that might be worsening dehydration.
Adding glutathione to your IV therapy can remove carcinogens and detoxify your entire system. Healthy levels of glutathione protect you against free radicals, increase your resistance to oxidative stress, and can even help fight chemo-resistant tumors.
Taurine can also be an important supplement to consider for those recovering from chemotherapy. Taurine is an antioxidant that prevents the accumulation of reactive oxygen species in tumor cells, leading to the weakening of tumors.
Taurine can also help alleviate some of the side effects of chemotherapy, making it easier for you to stay hydrated.
You can include a multivitamin package with your IV therapy. The vitamins can include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K1
Vitamin B3 is another excellent option because it can block certain enzymes cancer cells need to repair damage to their DNA.
But is this kind of IV therapy safe for people with cancer? Let’s look at whether cancer patients can safely turn to IV therapy to help alleviate symptoms.
Is IV Therapy Safe for Cancer Patients?
IV hydration therapy allows you to absorb the nutrients you need when undergoing chemotherapy without putting you at risk. IV therapy is a process that medical professionals administer, following the same protocols that nurses and doctors use in emergency rooms.
Because IV hydration therapy is easily customized, you can receive sessions when you need them and even in a preventative manner. Each session can take between 25 and 45 minutes, depending on individual needs.
There are some rare potential side effects associated with IV therapy. Rashes and infections at the injection site are rare but do happen, as well as vein inflammation.
To avoid side effects, share your complete medical history and let the provider of the therapy know about any medications you’re taking.
Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before beginning any IV hydration therapy. They will be best able to advise you on the benefits you can gain from IV hydration therapy and on what supplements are most appropriate for your health situation.
When you turn to Reset IV, you can speak with a doctor, as well, to customize your options for IV hydration therapy.
If you are struggling with dehydration because of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, IV hydration therapy can give you the help you need. These therapies can ensure that you are getting the hydration and nutrients your body needs to start healing.