IV fluid therapy is the fastest way of hydrating your body and delivering essential vitamins and minerals to your cells.
But what types of fluids are used in an IV solution? Are they safe to take and what are the risks of complications?
In this article, we tell you more about what IV fluid therapy is, how it works, and how it can benefit your health.
How Does IV Fluid Therapy Work?
IV fluid therapy is a treatment where intravenous fluids are used to rehydrate and energize your body. An intravenous fluid drip delivers a combination of saline solution, vitamins, and electrolytes directly into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract. Contrary to fluids or supplements that are taken orally, nutrients that you get through an IV treatment are completely absorbed and available immediately to your cells.
Effect of IV fluids on your cells
All body fluids are located either in the intracellular compartment that is enclosed within cells by semi-permeable membranes or the extracellular compartment that surrounds the cells. Molecules move through a cell’s membrane in order to equalize the concentration of solvents, such as water and electrolytes, on both sides of the membrane. This process is called osmosis.
Osmosis is regulated by osmotic pressure that allows the distribution of fluids to remain stable both inside and outside the cell. Osmotic pressure protects a cell from taking in more solvents than it can handle, which would eventually cause it to burst.
Osmosis and osmotic pressure play an essential role in the way IV fluids are absorbed into your cells. Depending on the type of treatment, IV therapy is designed to restore fluids in the extracellular compartment or facilitate the movement of fluid between the intracellular and extracellular compartments through osmosis.
Administering IV therapy
IV fluid therapy is administered using the same methods that are used in hospitals. In other words, a nurse inserts a needle into your vein and activates a drip mechanism. The contents of the IV travel from a bag into your vein through an intravenous catheter.
Reset IV allows you to receive IV fluid treatments in the comfort of your home if you live in Los Angeles, Orange County, Las Vegas, or Miami. We can accommodate same-day appointments and will usually be at your door within an hour of booking, depending on availability. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about IV fluid therapy or if you would like to schedule a session.
Several different types of fluids can be used in an IV solution. Let’s see what they are.
Types of IV Fluids
Based on their tonicity—the ability to make water move into or out of a cell by osmosis—IV fluids are categorized into isotonic, hypotonic, and hypertonic solutions.
Isotonic IV fluids
Isotonic IV solutions have the same concentration of solutes as blood plasma. They expand both the intracellular and extracellular fluid spaces, which means that they don't alter the concentration of dissolved particles in your blood, called osmolality. Most fluids used in IV therapy are isotonic solutions.
Hypotonic IV fluids
Hypotonic IV solutions contain fewer solutes than plasma. They lead to fluid shifts from extracellular to intracellular compartments, causing cells to swell. Hypotonic solutions are used when cells become dehydrated and fluids need to be replenished intracellularly.
Hypertonic IV fluids
Hypertonic IV solutions have a higher concentration of solutes than plasma. They cause fluids to move from the cells to the extracellular compartments in order to normalize the concentration of particles. This type of solution may cause cells to shrink and disrupt their function. Hypertonic solutions are used in the acute treatment of extreme sodium deficiency or severe hyponatremia.
Reset IV ingredients
Reset IV drips contain a special combination of fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, antioxidants, and medications that are specifically blended to address your individual health and wellness needs. Although the exact ingredients may vary from formula to formula, the most common nutrients you can find in our packages include:
Normal saline solution—the base of all our IV drips—is an isotonic IV fluid that contains water, sodium, and chloride. It is called normal saline because the percentage of sodium chloride dissolved in the solution is similar to the normal concentration of sodium and chloride present in the intravascular space.
Normal saline is used for expanding the extracellular fluid volume as it doesn’t enter the intracellular fluid. It provides essential hydration, dilutes medications, and facilitates the delivery of vitamins and nutrients throughout your body.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, enables your body to turn carbohydrates into energy. This vitamin is essential for the metabolism of glucose and plays an essential role in nerve, muscle, and heart function.
Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is needed for growth and optimal health. It helps your body break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy. It also allows oxygen to be used by the body.
Vitamin B3, also called niacin, boosts brain function in addition to contributing to normal psychological function and reducing tiredness and fatigue.
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is necessary for creating blood cells and it also helps convert the food you eat into energy.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, helps improve mood, promotes brain health, and may be used for treating nausea.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, helps with red blood cell formation, supports bone health, and improves mood.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, helps maintain muscles, bones, immune system, and the circulatory system. It also promotes the biosynthesis of collagen, which is a fundamental part of connective tissues.
Biotin is a vitamin that plays a crucial role in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. It is also necessary for the optimal health of your skin, hair, and nails.
Folic acid helps your body to produce and maintain new cells, and in particular red blood cells.
Modified Myer’s Cocktail
The Myer’s Cocktail is a formula that consists of magnesium, calcium, B-vitamins, and vitamin C. It increases your overall well-being when you feel run down, after a night of drinking, for example.
M.I.C. (Methionine, Inositol, and Choline)
Methionine, inositol, and choline are vitamins that can be used to facilitate weight loss and improve general health.
Amino acids are crucial for ensuring normal chemical reactions and are involved in almost every body function, including digestion, providing energy, regulating moods, and assisting in the creation of muscles and connective tissue.
Glutathione plays an essential role in preventing cellular damage. It is involved in a range of metabolic processes and biochemical reactions, in addition to DNA repair and synthesis. Research also shows that glutathione can slow the speed of the aging process.
Taurine is indispensable for cardiovascular function as well as the development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina, and the central nervous system.
In addition to the common ingredients mentioned above, our packages may include anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medication, commonly used to treat symptoms of the flu, a hangover, or jet lag.
IV fluid therapy offers a host of benefits and can be used for treating many different conditions. Read on to see what they are.
Who Can Benefit from IV Fluid Therapy?
IV therapy is an effective and safe way to provide your body with the fluids and nutrition it needs. You can benefit from IV fluid therapy if you want to:
- Find relief from headaches
- Alleviate symptoms of colds and flu
- Relieve food poisoning symptoms
- Boost your energy levels
- Rehydrate after a night of partying and drinking
- Relieve the symptoms of jet lag
- Improve your mood
- Lose weight
- Improve your athletic performance
- Reduce recovery time after exercising
- Improve your complexion
- Reduce the signs of aging.
IV fluid therapy is successfully used for treating many different conditions, but you may be wondering how safe it actually is.
What Are the Most Common Complications of IV Fluid Therapy?
IV fluid therapy is in most cases a completely safe procedure. Very few people experience side effects during or after intravenous treatments. Allergic reactions are extremely rare.
The most commonly reported side effects of IV fluid therapy include:
- Skin irritation at the injection site
- Inflammation or redness
- Muscle Stiffness.
Fluid regulation issues
Complications related to the regulation of fluids include giving too much fluid too rapidly or, on the contrary, not administering enough fluids.
Hypervolemia takes place when too much fluid reaches the bloodstream. It can cause symptoms such as a headache, high blood pressure, anxiety, and trouble breathing. Although moderate fluid overload is not dangerous if you’re in good health, it can be life-threatening for people with underlying health issues.
If you don’t receive enough fluid or if it’s released too slowly, your treatment simply won’t have the desired effect.
The insertion of an IV drip creates a direct path for bacteria into the bloodstream, bypassing the skin, which is the body's natural defense mechanism. If the needle or skin are not properly cleaned before inserting the IV, the likelihood of infection increases. However, the risk of blood infection is minimal with proper sterilization and hygiene.
Phlebitis, the inflammation of the vein around the spot where the needle is inserted, is the most common complication of IV therapy. Phlebitis can be caused by a needle that is not properly sterilized, a needle that is too large so that it tears or punctures the vein, or the ingredients in the infused fluids. The symptoms include pain in the arm, swelling, tenderness, and redness around the insertion site. It is rarely a serious condition and can be treated with compresses and anti-inflammatory medications.
Infiltration occurs when the IV fluid leaks from the vein into surrounding cell tissue. The leakage can happen when the tip of the catheter becomes dislodged or the drip passes through the wall of the blood vessel and pushes through the other side of the vein. Infiltration is a common complication of IV therapy and usually doesn’t have any serious consequences. In the event infiltration occurs, the nurse will simply stop the flow of fluids into your bloodstream.
Extravasation is similar to infiltration, but it is caused by fluids that can damage the tissue. These are non-vesicant solutions such as anti-nausea drugs, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, calcium, or concentrated potassium chloride. In severe cases, extravasation can cause infections and local tissue and muscle damage.
When is IV fluid therapy not recommended
IV fluid therapy is not recommended if you have congestive heart failure or kidney disease or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the drip. If you have any medical conditions or allergies, you should consult with your doctor before the treatment to avoid any complications.
Reset IV and safety of IV treatments
To ensure the safety of your treatment, all the Reset IV formulas are administered by our highly trained medical professionals who have extensive experience in administering IV therapy in hospitals and clinics. In addition, our physicians provide a free medical consultation and approve your treatment before you start the therapy.
FAQs about IV Fluids
How often can you get IV fluids?
IV fluid therapy is customized to meet your individual health and wellness needs. That’s why there’s no fixed frequency of receiving treatments. After the initial assessment, Reset IV clinical staff will devise a personalized therapy plan and recommend the frequency of sessions needed for maximum benefit.
You can choose to schedule a one-time treatment, multiple sessions, or maintenance once every few months. Several weekly sessions are usually enough to help you reach your health target. Once your body’s nutritional level is stable, the frequency of your IV fluid treatment session can be minimized. For preventative health and wellness, we recommend two sessions per month.
Do you pee a lot after IV fluids?
Yes. Just like with any other liquid, when fluids are introduced into your blood through an IV, they are filtered by the kidneys and expelled as urine.
Are IV fluids better than drinking water?
There are several advantages of taking IV fluids compared to drinking water.
Because your body needs time to process the water through the digestive system, water can’t reach your cells immediately. In fact, it can take up to 2 hours to completely absorb 500 ml of water and get hydrated. What’s more, your body can only absorb about one liter of water per hour so that if you’re heavily dehydrated after drinking or vomiting, for example, it can take up to 7 hours to rehydrate by only drinking water. IV hydration, on the other hand, is very effective for severe dehydration symptoms, allowing you to feel better within minutes.
Besides, water doesn’t provide vitamins and minerals that are present in IV fluids. If you’re dehydrated, you need an electrolyte solution that will help you replenish essential nutrients like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium. The best way to get necessary electrolytes fast is through IV fluid therapy.
Finally, when receiving IV fluid therapy, other ingredients such as vital minerals, vitamins, anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants, and anti-nausea drugs can be added to your drip to relieve your symptoms and get you feeling like yourself faster.