417 Integrative Medicine, also called intravenous therapy or IV drip, is an effective treatment for severe dehydration caused by illness, excessive sweating and vomiting. A saline solution containing water and sodium chloride is the most common fluid used to hydrate the body, but IV treatments also contain solutions with glucose (sugar)—to aid in the absorption of fluids and provide energy—and various vitamins and nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C and folic acid.
The fluids in an IV drip are administered directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and other digestive systems, explains Dr. O’Sullivan. A medical professional sanitizes a section of your arm and then inserts a small tube into a vein, which is hooked up to the IV bag. A motorized pump or manual drip ensures a consistent rate of fluid delivery. You can read, watch TV or rest during the procedure, but you must remain still to avoid dislodging the IV line.
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Although elective IV treatments are not typically covered by health insurance, they’re becoming increasingly popular. Many independent boutiques and even chains offer hydration or vitamin IV therapies, with marketing that often focuses on wellness. There is little scientific evidence to support the purported benefits of non-medical IV treatments, however, consulting your physician before undergoing such a treatment is a good idea due to potential risk factors for certain conditions or drug interactions.