Dehydration is a condition that causes a variety of health problems and can quickly go from mild to severe and, in extreme cases, can even cause death. Thankfully, dehydration can be quickly and effectively treated through the use of intravenous hydration therapy, often referred to as IV hydration therapy.

However, you may be wondering about the fluids that they put in your body. If you want to learn more about the intravenous fluids that they use to treat dehydration, you’re definitely in the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about IV fluids used to treat dehydration.


What is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when your body loses water and essential electrolytes faster than your body is taking in, which can lead to serious problems for your health. There are many factors that can cause an individual to be dehydrated, but one of the most common reasons is that they are not drinking enough fluids for their body to function properly.


Related: IV Therapy Benefits: What to Know for Your Health


When someone is suffering from dehydration, they can experience a number of symptoms, including tiredness, headache, decrease in urine output, and dizziness in mild cases and shock, coma, or even death in severe cases. It is essential that you are able to identify the signs of dehydration and know how to treat it quickly since even mild cases of dehydration can significantly impact health and performance.

If dehydration is left untreated, it can cause some serious complications. Eventually, your body will lose so much fluid that the sweat glands will not be able to produce enough sweat to cool the body down. This can quickly lead to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening emergency.

The best way to deal with dehydration is to prevent it before it happens. Staying hydrated by sipping on plenty of fluids is vital to prevent dehydration, especially when you are performing strenuous activities or are in a hot or humid climate.


When Should I Seek Emergency Medical Attention for Dehydration?

There are some circumstances where emergency medical care may be needed to treat dehydration. When someone is suffering from severe dehydration, they need to get emergency care immediately. If you notice the symptoms of severe dehydration, such as sunken eyes, extreme thirst, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, and low blood pressure, get medical attention immediately since severe dehydration can be life-threatening.


two IV bags hanging


How Does Intravenous Hydration Therapy Work?


IV hydration therapy is a medical treatment that delivers replenishing and rehydrating fluids directly into a patient’s bloodstream through a catheter, a thin and flexible plastic tube that is inserted into the patient’s vein using a needle.

The catheter will be hooked up to an IV bag of fluids which will have electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and sometimes medication if needed. Once the solution enters the bloodstream, it quickly gets to work and starts to revitalize and rehydrate the cells and tissues of the body.

The electrolytes in the IV fluid are particularly important since electrolyte imbalances can make you feel like you are still thirsty even though you are guzzling down massive amounts of water. This happens because your body’s thirst response activates when you flush out electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium by drinking a large amount of water.

This can lead to a condition called water intoxication, which occurs when someone drinks way too much water. This means that your body doesn’t have the electrolytes needed for crucial body functions such as muscle contraction and nerve conduction.

Water intoxication interferes with how the body processes water, leading to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, headache, seizures, and even coma. If water intoxication is left untreated, it can lead to death.


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IV hydration therapy reduces the risk of water intoxication for people suffering from dehydration since electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride can be added to the IV solution. This makes IV hydration therapy not only the most efficient way to rehydrate but also the safest way for most situations.


Are you searching for a way to relieve your dehydration symptoms? At Prime IV, we offer a wide range of treatment options that will get you back on your feet!


What IV Fluids Are Used?

The type of IV fluid that is to be used depends on what the IV therapy is used for. The common types are crystalloids, colloids, and blood products, but since crystalloids are the IV fluid of choice to treat most cases of dehydration, we will be concentrating on them.

Crystalloids are water and electrolyte solutions that are designed to imitate the natural fluids in the body. This means that crystalloids are effective in treating a number of serious conditions like electrolyte imbalances, shock, and dehydration.

Crystalloid IV fluids are categorized by their osmolarity, which is the concentration of solutes in the fluid. There are three categories of crystalloids which are isotonic, hypotonic, and hypertonic.


Isotonic IV Fluids

Isotonic IV fluids, which mimic the concentration of electrolytes and other solutes that plasma has, are designed to increase the amount of fluid that is . This outside of your cells. This makes isotonic IV floods the best choice for replacing lost fluids to help the body maintain fluid balance in most cases of dehydration.


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When administered through an intravenous line, isotonic fluids replenish fluids and electrolytes quickly and effectively. This can help with blood pressure, slow down a rapid heart rate, and improve urine output. Isotonic fluids are also used to treat those that cannot take in enough fluids to maintain their fluid balance, such as those who have lost too much fluid due to illness or injury.

The most common isotonic IV fluid is 0.9% normal saline solution, which is an electrolyte solution that contains nine grams of sodium chloride, or salt, per thousand milliliters of fluid. This can be used for fluid replacement for people suffering from dehydration or blood loss and can also be used to treat mild cases of electrolyte depletion.

Other commonly used isotonic IV fluids include Lactated Ringer’s solution and 5% dextrose in water. Lactated Ringer’s solution contains potassium, calcium, sodium, chloride, and lactate. Potassium, calcium, sodium, and chloride are electrolytes that will help correct electrolyte imbalances, while lactate helps increase the pH level of the body. 5% dextrose in water contains fluids along with carbohydrates to replace lost glucose in the body.


Hypotonic IV Fluids

Hypotonic solutions are IV fluids that have a lower concentration of solutes than the body’s fluids. This type of solution is used to push fluids from the bloodstream into the cells of the body, causing the cells to retain fluid and swell up. This makes it the solution of choice for cellular dehydration, which is often caused by diabetic complications.

One of the biggest advantages of using hypotonic fluids is that it rapidly rehydrates the body on a cellular level by pushing that fluid into the cells. This is particularly useful when someone needs to be rehydrated without significantly increasing their blood volume or flooding their body with so much fluid that they cause an electrolyte imbalance.


Hypertonic IV Fluids

Hypertonic solutions are the opposite of hypotonic solutions and have a higher concentration of solutes, such as electrolytes, in the fluid compared to the solutes in the body’s fluids. This means that hypertonic solutions can move fluid from cells into the bloodstream if needed to help restore fluid balance. Hypertonic fluids are used for treating conditions such as hyponatremia, where your body lacks the sodium needed for fluid balance and blood pressure control, and cerebral edema, which is swelling of the brain.


a woman receiving IV fluids through the hand


Benefits of Using IV Fluids to Treat Dehydration

There are a ton of benefits to using IV fluids to treat those that are suffering from dehydration. One of the biggest advantages is that IV fluids can rapidly rehydrate since it is delivered directly into the bloodstream, where they can be quickly absorbed. This is a significant benefit since the faster the body can absorb the fluid, the quicker the body will replenish and make you feel better.

Another benefit is that IV fluids can effectively balance electrolyte levels in the body. Although staying hydrated by drinking water frequently is important, there are times when drinking too much water can lead to electrolyte imbalance or even water intoxication. Fluids given intravenously contain electrolytes and can contain other nutrients that will not only rehydrate you but will also restore any lost electrolytes.

IV fluid treatments can also be easily customized depending on the needs of each individual. The customization of the treatment can include the type of fluid, electrolyte content, and even medication that can be added to the IV fluid.

Depending on the severity of dehydration and the electrolyte needs of the individual, different types of fluids can be used, such as normal saline solution or lactated Ringer’s solution. This flexibility helps prevent causing dangerous complications such as electrolyte imbalance or hypervolemia, which means that the body has too much fluid. The electrolyte content can also be adjusted depending on what is needed to restore the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.

Another great advantage of using IV fluids to rehydrate is that medications can easily be administered through the fluids. This is a significant benefit since there are some cases where an individual’s dehydration is so severe that they have difficulty keeping water or oral medications down.

Administering medication through IV fluids not only ensures that the medication is ingested and stays ingested but typically has faster absorption and onset of action times since it goes directly into the bloodstream. This is important since dehydration pulls fluid from the tissues of the body, causing mild to severe aches and pains that can be controlled with IV medications.


Disadvantages of Using IV Fluids to Rehydrate

Although the use of intravenous fluids to treat dehydration is considered to be very safe and effective, there are still a few potential disadvantages that you should be aware of.

One of the disadvantages of using IV fluids to rehydrate is that it can be inconvenient since you have to stay relatively still while the fluids are being administered. The procedure has to be done by a properly trained and certified healthcare professional, so you will have to fill out the proper paperwork, which can be a bit tedious.

Since IV fluids are given through an IV catheter that is placed in your vein by a needle, there is a risk of infection, especially if the IV catheter is placed incorrectly or poorly maintained. This can cause infections that can be life-threatening if not taken care of properly.

There is also a risk of fluid overload if an excessive amount of IV fluids is administered in a short amount of time. This causes there to be an excess of fluid in the body leading to symptoms such as swelling and shortness of breath.


Are you searching for a new way to help support your health, wellness, and daily functioning while rehydrating? Consider reaching out to our team of passionate health experts at Prime IV Hydration & Wellness today to learn about our services and what they can do for you!

Final Thoughts

It is important to know exactly what you put into your body, and IV fluids are no exception. Now that you know more about dehydration and how IV fluids treat it, you can be confident that you are getting the right treatment.