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Infusion Solutions: The New Way to Hydrate

Oct 05, 2016 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Lisa J. Gotto

Hydration. It’s important. And that’s clearly evident when you consider that the U.S. bottled water industry pumps out billions of gallons annually (11 billion gallons in 2014) in an effort to help us stay hydrated.

More often times than you may think, however, our required and ongoing hydration needs are not sufficiently being met; despite the eight glasses of water a day rule. And not all types of hydration are equal, either.

“Research has shown that 75 percent of people suffer from chronic dehydration,” says Dr. Kelly Sullivan of Sullivan Integrated Aesthetic Center of Annapolis. “Oral hydration is less effective than intravenous. When a person is dehydrated, water and electrolytes are lost causing stress to the body.”

Sullivan is among a group of trailblazing physicians nationwide, and the only one in the Annapolis area, now offering customized IV Hydration treatment packages in their practices.

“Our practice strives to promote the wellness of our patients and IV hydration is a great supplement to help restore and maintain the body’s balance,” Sullivan adds.

As it sounds, a combination of fluids are added to the body via intravenous infusion—so there is some vein tapping involved. Each session takes approximately 45 minutes. Patients at Sullivan Integrated have the option of infusing as they undergo other procedures, as well.

The fluid packages are specifically designed to address general wellness, anti-aging, immune system enhancement, and sports recovery issues.

All packages start out with a base of one liter of NaCl,or sodium chloride, and add in specific vitamins and minerals. For instance, the sports recovery package adds 5,000 mg of vitamin C, B complex, folic acid, gluthathione, and magnesium to the NaCl.

Described as the “mother of all antioxidants,” gluthathione is a simple molecule that is naturally produced in the body. It is made up of three important building blocks of protein: cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. It also contains sulfur that acts like fly paper in your system, collecting bad stuff like free radicals and toxins.

You also have the option of adding in a course of pure oxygen and certain injections, such as vitamin B-12, to each treatment package, as well.

Patients wishing to explore IV Hydration are first asked to fill out an in-depth medical history form that is reviewed by registered nurses and physicians on staff prior to treatment. “As long as there is no medical indication from a patient’s history that prevents the infusion, the patients consent is reviewed by the patient and signed,” Sullivan says. The different package options are then reviewed with the patient and the most suitable course is chosen. Costs for packages range from $150-250 and treatments do not qualify for medical insurance coverage.

So how good can a patient expect to feel immediately after a treatment?

Immediate effects vary depending on the specific needs of the patient and the infusion chosen. It’s possible to feel little or nothing initially, “…However, most patients describe feeling more energized and healthy a few days after,” Sullivan says. “For someone receiving an infusion from seasonal illness or over indulgence, the effects are more immediate.”

The duration of the positive effects from treatment vary depending how quickly the replaced vitamins and minerals are depleted again. Sullivan recommends a regular infusion schedule of four to six weeks in most cases.

“For someone who is deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral, [for example] Zinc due to vegetarianism, the effects may be more prominent, therefore your body may require more frequent infusions.”

Candidates for IV Therapy

  • Have had any serious underlying medical conditions identified or ruled out
  • Are looking to enhance their overall sense of wellbeing
  • Are seeking a quicker recovery from intense or extended physical exercise or sport-related activity
  • Are looking to shorten the duration or lessen the effects of a bad cold or flu
  • Are looking to enhance the body’s natural anti-aging mechanisms
  • Are looking to shorten the duration or lessen the effects of over-indulgence

Signs of Dehydration

may include, but are not limited to:
  • dry mouth
  • extreme thirst sleepiness
  • irritability
  • headache
  • dry skin
  • decreased urine output

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