From keeping blood pressure normal to maintaining a steady heart rhythm, magnesium has a myriad of benefits to your body. You simply can't do without it. When your magnesium levels are too low, you have to supplement them.
You could always eat magnesium-rich foods like spinach. However, when you urgently need it in your system, there’s only one way to get it fast enough - through a magnesium IV drip.
First, let’s take a look at what an IV drip is and what it usually contains.
What is an IV Drip?
The term “IV” stands for 'intra,' meaning inside, and 'venous,' which means relating to veins. Therefore, an IV drip is a means of administering fluids into the body through blood vessels.
Some IV drips contain salts and minerals, while others contain vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants. Each IV drip concoction differs according to the individual needs of a patient.
Magnesium IVs contain magnesium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral that actively replenishes magnesium levels in your blood. It is also used to treat pediatric acute nephritis and prevent seizures in pregnant women with conditions like eclampsia and toxemia of pregnancy.
The most common ingredients in IV drips are:
- Saline: This is the most common type of fluid in IVs. It’s a solution of salt and water. Saline is mainly used to treat dehydration and hangovers due to its high sodium concentration.
- Electrolytes: Electrolytes control everything in our bodies, from regulating nerve and muscle function to regulating blood pressure. Sodium is the most abundant electrolyte in the body. That being said, you still need magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate, phosphate, and chloride for your body to function normally.
- Vitamins: Vitamins play a pivotal role in our bodies. They strengthen the immune system, give us an energy boost, and aid in calcium absorption. They also help maintain healthy skin, among other benefits.
Next, we’ll discuss the benefits of getting a magnesium IV drip.
What are the Benefits of a Magnesium IV?
Magnesium IV injections actively replace magnesium deficiencies in the body. Many patients who receive intravenous magnesium therapy report that they get a "warm" and relaxing feeling. They also feel less stressed and sleep better at night.
Athletes also get magnesium IV injections to speed up recovery and ease muscle fatigue. Magnesium can be combined with other IV therapies like Myers Cocktail for the feeling of rush it provides.
Intravenous magnesium injections offer more benefits than traditional oral consumption methods. Magnesium IVs give patients high doses of magnesium instantly. This eliminates the discomfort caused by eating lots of food to attain the desired magnesium levels.
Magnesium IV drips can also be used to treat a variety of conditions. The next sections discuss what these conditions are.
What is Magnesium Used to Treat?
Atrial tachycardia is a form of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). During an episode, the heart rate increases to more than 100 beats per minute. These episodes may last for 10 to 15 minutes before the heart rate returns to a normal 60 to 80 beats per minute.
This condition is prevalent among children with heart disorders such as congenital heart disease. It is most especially common among those who’ve had heart surgery. It can also be triggered by an infection, drug abuse, or excessive alcohol consumption. Some people might experience atrial tachycardia during exercise and pregnancy.
Atrial tachycardia has been shown to respond to magnesium IVs. Recent research has shown that administering magnesium IV around the time of surgery can reduce the occurrence of arrhythmic events on the ventricular and atrial levels.
Hypomagnesemia is an electrolyte imbalance that occurs when there are depleted levels of serum magnesium in the blood. Administering a magnesium IV can raise magnesium levels in the blood, alleviating the symptoms of hypomagnesemia.
Pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia
Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are high-blood pressure disorders that mainly occur during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia causes an increase in blood pressure and the level of protein in your urine. You might also experience swelling in your hands, legs, and feet.
Eclampsia is pretty rare, but it is more severe than pre-eclampsia. Eclampsia can cause seizures, comas, and even death. Magnesium IVs are used to prevent seizures in pregnant women. It can also prolong the length of pregnancy by up to two days, thus allowing the drugs that speed up the baby's heart development to be administered.
Magnesium IV drips work much better than both phenytoin and diazepam in preventing seizures in epileptic patients. It also has numerous neurological and cardiovascular effects.
Being constipated means that your bowel movements are hard or happening less often than normal. It mostly occurs when your colon absorbs too much water while forming stool. The resulting effect is hard stool, which is often uncomfortable and sometimes painful to push out.
Magnesium sulphate, the main component in cardiovascular magnesium, increases water in the intestines. This quality makes it a very effective laxative for relieving regular constipation.
Cerebral edema is a life-threatening condition that causes fluid to accumulate in the brain. The fluid accumulation increases intraocular pressure (pressure inside the skull), which might cause irreversible damage and even death.
Magnesium IV has a higher concentration of magnesium than the blood. Adding it into the bloodstream creates an osmolar gradient in the blood-brain barrier. This causes the fluid to be sucked out of the skull cavity in order for the blood to reach osmotic equilibrium. The resulting effect is less pressure in the skull.
If you ingest soluble barium compounds such as barium chloride, you might get barium poisoning. Barium poisoning causes hypokalemia, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, and skeletal muscle paralysis.
In most cases, barium poisoning can be treated by eating high-fiber food and drinking lots of fluids to help it move through the digestive tract. Magnesium IV can also be used. It has laxative properties, making it an effective treatment for barium poisoning.
Though magnesium IV drips can bring various benefits, there are also some side effects to be aware of.
Side Effects of Magnesium IV
The side effects of intravascular magnesium injection include:
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Flaccid paralysis
- Lowered body temperature
- Cardiac and nervous system depression
Magnesium IV drips can also cause uncomfortable effects in pregnant and lactating women. As such, it should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding individuals.
The Bottom Line
Although you can get magnesium from food and pill supplements, magnesium IVs provide the fastest relief in emergency situations. You can also use it for preventive health and wellness.