Diabetes & I.V. Fluid Replacement

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I.V. stands for “intravenous” which describes the fact that in IV fluid replacement, the fluid is passed straight into your veins. This is done by passing a needle through your skin and into one of your veins (usually a vein in your arm) which is then replaced by a catheter (a short, plastic tube) that is more able to flex with any movements that you make and can remain in your vein for longer periods of time. If you are diabetic, your high blood sugar levels will cause you to have high levels of sugar in your urine which will affect your kidneys by causing them to filter more water out of your blood (which is why you have polyuria (need to go to the toilet a lot) and often feel thirsty). This can lead to a state of severe dehydration if you are not able to balance your fluid intake and keep your blood sugar levels in control. If you become so severely dehydrated that you go into shock, then you will need IV fluid replacement in the form of a rapid input of saline (which is basically a salt solution) so that the fluid goes straight into your blood. The type of fluid that is put into your blood will be carefully calculated by the doctors in order to make sure that you do not end up with too much water in your blood compared to the amount of important ions (such as sodium and potassium) in your blood.

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