Hypotonic, hypertonic, isotonic. These sound like scary words when you start to understand the science of IV treatment but don’t be afraid! This article will discuss what it means for a solution to be hypotonic, hypertonic, and isotonic. First, it helps to understand the bases of these words.
Conditions and Concepts Needed to Discuss These Fluids
Firstly it helps to note that one cannot describe any kind of fluid or solution as any of these terms when comparing them one at a time. There needs to be a comparison to at least one other fluid in order for them to be called hyper, hypo, or iso.
The second thing to note is that salt attracts water. Have you ever chopped onion and put it in a skillet to cook? It can take a long time for the water to be released from the matrix of the onion unless you sprinkle salt on the onion as it cooks. The salt pulls the moisture out of the onion.
What makes solutions hypotonic, hypertonic, and isotonic is the amount of salt or solute (the solid parts of a mixture) that the solution has compared to the solutions around it.
The Greek base of “hypo” means “under” or “below.” That means that hypotonic solutions have less salt and solute compared to the solutions by which they are surrounded. What does that mean in terms of things you want to know about IV treatments?
It is necessary for IV fluids to be hypotonic
The human body needs IV solutions to be hypotonic because they need to be able to be pulled into cells– where there is more salt and solute. If they cannot be pulled in by the cells, they cannot give the cells the hydration they desperately need.
For this reason, IV fluids will still be mixed with salt and electrolytes, just a smaller amount than what you might think.
The Greek base of “hyper” means “over” or “beyond.” That means that hypertonic solutions have an increased amount of salt and solute compared to the fluids that surround them. What does that mean? It means that this increased level of salt is going to attract moisture from the surrounding solutions until they reach homeostasis or equivalence.
You do not want IV fluids to be hypertonic because that means that they would not only not enter your cells, but they would also pull water from out of your cells and create an exaggerated state of internal dehydration.
The Greek base of “iso” means “the same” or “equivalent to.” When a solution is isotonic, the solution has the same amount of salt and solute as the solutions surrounding it. This typically allows for fluid to be freely exchanged between the two solutions.
When internal bodily fluid matrices have reached isotonicity, they have reached an ideal balance between the amount of salt and fluid in the cells and the amount of salt and fluid in the surrounding matrix. When you reach isotonicity in your blood, you have been properly rehydrated.
Book Your Appointment Online
We employ the best doctors and nurses at Drip hydration to deliver our top-of-the-line products. Our expertise combined with our treatment options gives you the best experience on the market. The IV treatments that we offer are guaranteed hypotonic to make you isotonic. Book your appointment today if you need an energy boost, feel like treating yourself to a beauty treatment, or simply need to recover from night out.
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