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IV Hydration Therapy: Uses, Benefits and How It Works


Intravenous (IV) hydration delivers fluids and nutrients directly into the bloodstream for rapid absorption. This method is used to treat moderate to severe dehydration and provide targeted supplementation. When performed in a medical setting, IV hydration is very safe. Read on to learn the main uses and benefits of IV fluid therapy.

What is IV Hydration?

Meta description: IV hydration involves infusing fluid directly into a vein through a small catheter to quickly resolve dehydration, administer medications, or provide nutritional supplementation.

IV hydration bypasses the digestive system to supply hydrating fluids straight to the circulatory system via a vein. A hydration solution containing water, electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and other additives is slowly infused through a catheter placed into a vein (often in the arm).

IVs rapidly deliver:

  • Fluids to rehydrate
  • Electrolytes
  • Vitamins like vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins
  • Anti-nausea and pain-relieving medications
  • Antioxidants like glutathione

Treatments are monitored by a nurse or physician and take 30 minutes to over an hour depending on the prescribed volume.

Benefits of IV Hydration

Meta description: IV hydration therapy offers faster recovery from dehydration, decreased nausea, enhanced athletic performance, reduced migraine severity, and improved wellness.

Potential benefits of intravenous fluid administration include:

  • Quick rehydration for moderate/severe dehydration
  • Settling of nauseated stomach
  • Faster recovery from illness
  • Reduced duration and pain of headaches/migraines
  • Decreased severity of hangovers
  • Boosted immunity through vitamin infusion
  • Increased energy and athletic performance
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Enhanced skin vitality and treatment of signs of aging
  • Overall wellness and health optimization

When oral rehydration isn’t optimal, IV hydration can be very helpful and is well-tolerated.

Common Uses for IV Hydration

Meta description: IVs are often used to effectively treat dehydration, administer drugs, provide vitamin supplementation, and speed recovery in both medical and wellness settings.

There are several common medical and wellness applications of intravenous fluid therapy:

Medical Uses

  • Moderate to severe dehydration from vomiting, diarrhea, fever
  • Hospitalization recovery
  • Chemotherapy and cancer treatments
  • Administering medications like antibiotics
  • Chronic conditions causing dehydration like diabetes

Wellness Uses

  • Rehydration from hangovers or alcohol overconsumption
  • Boosting immunity with vitamin infusion
  • Reducing migraines
  • Pre/post workout hydration for athletes
  • Helping manage chronic headaches
  • Improving general health and wellbeing
  • Anti-aging and skincare – enhances glowing skin

IVs allow precise dosing of fluids and nutrients when absorption through the GI tract isn’t ideal. They are water-soluble so excess is excreted through the kidneys.

What to Expect During IV Hydration

Meta description: Here is an overview of the IV hydration process, including setup, infusion, and recovery details to help you prepare for your treatment session.

IV hydration is straightforward when performed by an experienced clinician:

Before the IV

The practitioner will assess your health, goals, and veins to choose the proper formulation and insertion site.

IV Insertion

Your skin is cleaned and a small catheter attached to the IV tubing is introduced into a vein, often in the hand or arm. This process is minimally painful.

IV Session

You’ll recline comfortably while the hydration solution flows into the vein. Flow rate is controlled with an adjustable roller clamp. The whole treatment usually takes 30-90 minutes depending on prescribed volume.

After the IV

Once empty, the catheter is removed and a bandage applied. You may feel immediate increased energy and wellbeing. Be sure to eat and drink water following treatment.

IVs are very safe when protocols are followed. Tell your provider about any allergies or health conditions. Avoid IVs if you have low platelets, anemia, or heart/kidney/liver disease.

Most Frequently Asked IV Hydration Questions

Considering IV vitamin therapy? Below are answers to some commonly asked questions:

How much does an IV hydration session cost?

Cost ranges from $100-300 per infusion depending on location, vitamins added, and volume. Insurance may cover medical IV treatments but not wellness IVs.

How long do IV hydration benefits last?

Benefits are felt immediately and last 24 hours up to 1-2 days, depending on the treatment goal. For ongoing wellness, monthly sessions are popular.

Are there risks or side effects?

When properly performed, IVs have a low risk of minor bruising or infiltration. More serious risks like infection or phlebitis are very rare but seek medical help if signs develop.

Can IVs be done at home?

It’s not recommended. IVs have inherent risks and require oversight by licensed medical personnel. Some mobile services can come to your home when medically justified.

How much IV fluid should be infused?

Volumes vary from 500-2000 mL depending on your condition, weight and hydration needs. Your provider determines the rate and amount appropriate for you.

In summary, intravenous fluid infusions provide an easy, effective method of delivering hydration and vitamins when absorption through the digestive system is suboptimal. IV treatments have a range of wellness and medical uses for both rapid recovery and ongoing health. When performed properly by qualified personnel, IV hydration is very safe and produces noticeable benefits.

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