Intravenous (IV) therapy is a way to receive healing vitamins, minerals, nutrients, saline (fluids) and medications directly into the body through a peripheral vein. IV therapy is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world for aiding in boosting the immune system, increasing nutrient levels, correcting dehydration, combating infections, healthier skin and much more. It can even be a great cure for hangovers after a fun night out with friends and drinks!
By: Shannon Sartor Livingston, MD
The first IV vitamin drips were developed and administered by Dr. John Myers in the 1970s. His research led to the popular Myers’ Cocktail. These types of infusions generally take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and take place within a medical office with a licensed medical professional observing the infusion. People receiving IV vitamin therapy can receive much higher concentrations of the vitamins than when taken orally. Interestingly, there are many reports of septic systems being clogged by completely undigested oral vitamins still in their original form. Yes, there are many OTC oral vitamins out there that look great on the label but are not able to be broken down and absorbed in our bodies at all. When people take vitamins orally, they must go through the gastric system/digestion process which naturally dilutes the nutrients. Of the vitamins that our bodies can break down, we only absorb about 50% at best of the vitamins and minerals. Whereas with IV vitamin therapy, we receive upwards of 90% of the vitamin and nutrients directly into their blood stream.
Today, doctors are seeing an increase of patients suffering from high stress, anxiety, busy schedules, and an overload of work causing physical exhaustion, lack of sleep, mental fatigue and brain fog. These stressful lifestyles lead patients to not drink enough water and choose poor dietary meals (i.e. fast food), especially after a long day at work. An IV vitamin infusion is a great option to keep a person hydrated and obtain the proper nutrients needed to stay healthy.
IV therapy provides a quick and efficient way to infuse the body with the nutrients it needs to replenish itself and operate at peak efficiency. It also aids the immune system which has never been more important than now with the current Covid-19 pandemic. Patient’s immune systems naturally weaken with age, stress, and poor diet. IV vitamin therapy helps to combat viral, bacterial and fungal infections, therefore improving recovery time.
The nutrients, minerals and antioxidants available through IV treatments have been shown to be clearly visible from the appearance of a person’s complexion. IV hydration immediately improves skin tone and suppleness, especially in dry skin that has been damaged by sun exposure. Along with visible improvements in the skin, IV vitamin therapy can improve sunken eyes and dark areas under the eyes. It can also give you fuller appearing lips. Nails and hair can become stronger, with increased sheen.
You should be cautious when choosing an IV therapy provider as some vitamins and minerals can be extremely harmful to people with certain medical conditions. Many IV clinics and mobile units operate on a “one size fits all” basis regarding vitamin therapies. For example, a patient with kidney problems, heart conditions or diabetes can wind up in the hospital if given certain or too much of a vitamin or mineral. Some medical conditions will worsen rapidly with too much IV fluids.
Some IV therapy clinics do not provide vitamin dosages high enough to treat the problem at hand due to their drive to keep costs low. Some may give everyone only 1,000 to 5,000 mg of IV vitamin C which you could just take by mouth in pill form. More importantly, this dosage may not be enough to be effective for the disease process you are treating. It takes significantly higher doses of vitamin C than above to kill viruses and bacteria. If you are fighting an infection like Covid-19, it is absolutely crucial to get the correct dosage of vitamin C to help lower the viral load in your body but not harm your kidneys or other organs.
As a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician, I prescribe vitamin infusion therapy to most of my patients. Many of them use vitamin IV therapy as an ongoing part of their health and wellness regime. I recommend receiving vitamin IV therapy under a licensed and experienced physician who will ensure the appropriate dosage, mixture, and delivery of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are effective and SAFE for your body and medical conditions to achieve your health and wellness goals.
With a variety of vitamin and
nutrient cocktails available, IV vitamin therapy has shown to:
● Boost your immune system
● Increase your energy level
● Help with weight loss
● Improve recovery time and reduce symptoms from infections
● Relieve seasonal allergy symptoms
● Mitigate chronic and acute pain throughout the body
● Increase your fitness performance and recovery
● Boost your libido
● Enhance your focus
● Improve your complexion
● Detox your body
● Treat hangovers/dehydration
● Alleviate acute migraines
● Reduce chronic cough
● Boost sexual performance
● Help with anxiety, depression
● Promote better cardiovascular health
● Relieve muscle cramps
● Lessen pain with intercourse
● Correct heat exhaustion
● Hasten healing from burns
● Improve sun burns faster
● Promote better sleep