As an avid exerciser, you put your body to extremes on a regular basis to reach your desired goal whether it is weight gain or weight loss. Extreme physical activity is linked to so many benefits but it can also have some drawbacks, for instance it could deplete your body of essential nutrients such as electrolytes that are critical for proper function and recovery. Some of the most common signs of electrolyte deficiency are muscle cramps and fatigue. Electrolyte infusion therapy provides an effective and quick solution to restore depleted electrolyte levels through an IV Drip. Whether you are a professional athlete or not, you might experience electrolyte deficiency and this treatment could be the best option you have. In this article we are going to explain how this treatment works.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals inside the body that carry electric charge such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. These minerals are essential for multiple body functions including:
- Maintaining the body acid/base balance, these minerals will help the body to keep the right PH in the blood and other organs.
- Regular muscle and nerve function. Electrolytes are crucial for smooth muscle function and contractions, heart rhythm and communication between nerves.
- Keeping fluids balanced; electrolytes will help your body to maintain the balance of fluids inside the body. They also help with blood pressure and blood volume.
- Keeping your energy levels up. Electrolytes are crucial to break down nutrients from food and they will help you digest the food much better.
When the balance of electrolytes inside the body is disrupted, it can lead to dehydration, fatigue and impaired organ function. Electrolyte deficiency usually happens after fluid loss like after vomiting, blood loss and diarrhea or even excessive sweating. They can also happen due to following a poor diet, certain medications or even kidney disease.
Signs of electrolyte imbalance
- Fatigue and weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
- confusion or impaired thinking
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Changes in blood pressure
If left untreated, severe electrolyte imbalance could lead to life threatening condition. Electrolyte infusion therapy will help to restore the balance of these essential minerals in the body and avoid diseases and side effects. The specific dosage of these minerals inside the IV Drip will depend on each individual condition.
Electrolyte infusions are often used to treat dehydration, depletion from prolonged illness, surgery or extreme physical exertion. They can help restore the balance of fluids, PH, improve organ and muscle function and provide the body with other essential nutrients when taking supplements orally is not possible. This treatment should be done under a health care professional or doctor supervision and it does not pose risks and side effects if done correctly.
What is electrolyte infusion therapy?
Electrolyte therapy is a form of IV therapy. This treatment involves administering electrolyte solutions intravenously to gain the balance back in the body. Electrolytes such as:
When Electrolyte levels in the body are depleted in a severe way, side effects like extreme fatigue and vomiting are more common and sometimes this condition is so extreme that hospitalization is required.
Electrolyte solutions are inserted in the body through an IV line. The rate of infusion is monitored carefully to avoid complications. During the session, the practitioner will examine the blood to see if the electrolyte level is in the right range and when this happens the infusion is discontinued.
Common electrolyte solutions
- Isotonic solutions like normal saline will help restore fluid volume.
- Hypertonic with higher slat concentrations are used for severe sodium depletion.
- Potassium chloride solutions are to restore the potassium levels in the body.
- Sodium Bicarbonate can be used to treat imbalanced PH in the blood and to improve metabolic acidosis.
The specific concentration of minerals and dosage is decided based on each persons needs and health condition.
Possible Risks and side effects
While this treatment is generally safe and pose little to no risks to individuals, there are some potential side effects that might occur to some people. High blood pressure and fluid overload, abnormal heart rhythm and swelling are some side effects reported after undergoing electrolyte therapy.
Please note that you should only consider certified health care professionals and doctors to undergo this treatment since they will monitor your body conditions in real time and minimize the chance of any side effects happening.
Who can benefit from electrolyte infusion therapy?
Those with chronic medical conditions
individuals with certain chronic medical conditions like congestive heart failure, kidney disease or gastrointestinal issues that impair absorption may benefit from this treatment. frequent vomiting, abnormal sweating and severe diarrhea or use of diuretics can decrease electrolytes level in the body.
Post surgical patients
patients who have undergone certain surgeries might need electrolyte infusion therapy due to the fluid and blood loss they have. Also some people that can not take supplements orally can use this treatment to provide their body with essential minerals.
Read more: IV therapy or oral supplements? Which is more effective?
Those who participate in extreme physical activity may experience some nutrients deficiency and this treatment can help them balance the amount of minerals inside their body. There are different solutions of electrolyte infusion therapy and each one is suitable for certain conditions.
People who have gastrointestinal difficulties
Individuals who suffer from nausea, vomiting or other problems which lead to dehydration and those who can not take medications orally and absorb the nutrients naturally may benefit from intravenous treatments since minerals and other essential nutrients will bypass the digestive system and enter the bloodstream directly.
What to expect during electrolyte infusion therapy?
You will meet with a health care professional or a doctor to review your medical history and current body condition. They will assess your vital signs and draw a blood sample to determine your electrolyte levels before starting the treatment. During each session, an IV line will be inserted to the arm. Each session can last for 30 minutes or more depending on each patients needs.
As the infusion continues, you might feel a tingling sensation around your lips or fingertips. A nurse or health care provider will be monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate frequently. Please note that you should notify your doctor the moment you feel lightheaded or experience irregular heartbeats. Once the IV drip is finished, your blood will be checked to see the balance of minerals and electrolytes and you will probably need to rest for the reminder of the day.