What is IV Nutrient Therapy and are you a good candidate?
Have you ever wondered if IV Nutrient Therapy is right for you? Have you heard of Myer’s IV Cocktail? Do you know the difference between oral vitamin supplementation vs Intravenous? Let’s answer some of these commonly asked questions:
1- Oral supplementation vs intravenous
- Okay, lets address this burning question first! A patient will often tell me- “but I do take my vitamins and eat very healthy, why would I need a vitamin IV?”. This is a very common and valid question. There are several unfortunate realities in today’s fast paced world.
- Our soil is depleted, and farming practices are poor. We are not getting the nutrients from today’s food that we should be getting or the nutrients our ancestors got. With this in mind, I always suggest my patients to supplement based on their individual needs.
- Our world is fast paced! Fast pace= higher stress= decreased oral nutrient absorption= vitamin deficiencies.
- Even when patients do take additional oral supplements, this might not be enough. If you are in a disease state, your body requires more of the same nutrients than the healthy (not disease state) person does. Majority of patients that I see have gut dysbiosis to one degree or another. These patients won’t be able to absorb the oral supplements properly. This is when Vitamin IVs might be something to think about.
- When we take oral supplements, they have to go through our gastrointestinal tract, Intravenous supplementation is 100% absorbed into the cells bypassing the GI tract. We do not absorb 100% of our oral vitamins. In fact, if we let’s say take 1000 mg of oral Vitamin Cà we will absorb 50% of that.
2- Who is Intravenous IV therapy useful for?
IV Therapy is a great option treatment for the following patients
- Patients with a chronic illness: chronic diseases have a taxing effect on your body, and your body has to work that much harder to maintain a healthy balance. Patient with a chronic disease may find it hard to supplement orally enough to feel their best. This is where regular Vitamin IVs is a great addition to an existing treatment plan.
- Patients with gastrointestinal disorders: Gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, SIBO, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis etc. make it harder to absorb oral vitamins due to the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. While working on the root cause of the gastrointestinal problem and healing the gut, it is a good option for these patients to receive regular IVs until their gut is able to absorb the oral vitamins better.
- Patients with migraines: there can be many reasons as to why migraines occur. In many cases it could be due to vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Myers IV is full of Magnesium, which often helps with tension headaches and migraines. It is much higher dose of Magnesium than you would normally take in an oral supplement.
- Patients with chronic infections: There could be many reasons why someone is catching every bacteria or virus that goes around. It could be low iron or low Vitamin D, it can also be a lot of other vitamin or mineral deficiencies. It could also be gut dysbiosis (the house of our immune system) contributing to the under functioning immune system. While we work on figuring out the underlying problem, regular IV therapy might be recommended to support the immune system with a heavy dose of vitamins you would otherwise not get from oral supplementation.
- Patients with chronic stress & fatigue: Did you know that our bodies burn through vitamin and mineral reserves much faster when we are under greater amount of stress? Chronic stress can lead to vitamin and mineral depletion and contribute to the “burn out”. Although a Myers IV is not a fix all and shouldn’t be used to Band-Aid poor lifestyle habits, sometimes we have unavoidable stressors in our life no matter how hard we try to manage our stress. When we are under chronic stress, our bodies often underproduce stomach acid, which results in decreased absorption of vitamins & minerals.
- Athletes or people who just want to feel their best: Patients who are athletes or train hard, may just need that extra boost because their body is also using up a lot of the Vitamin and Mineral stores at an increased speed. You don’t have to be sick to receive a Vitamin IV. As I mentioned before, we simply don’t get enough nutrients from our food in the 21st century in the developed world. If patients are generally healthy but want to optimize their health more, I would usually say they can receive an IV once every 2-3 months just to replete any deficiencies not addressed by good diet and oral supplementation.
- Patients who had a bit too much fun the night before: Lets be real here. Even if you are not every weekend type “partier” or “drinker”, most of us will have a weekend out or in with our family and friends and have too much fun sometimes. For our mental health, we definitely need those times just to relax and enjoy the moment. Our body, however, might hate us the next day. As adults, life doesn’t stop the next day just because we had too much fun the night before: we have kids to look after, dogs to walk, jobs to go to, friends and family to see, etc. The “hangover” happens, because our body is dehydrated and depleted of vitamins and minerals due to alcohol consumption. Myers IV is a great way to replete and rehydrate our body so we can go on and conquer our day 🙂
3- Is IV therapy safe?
- IV Nutrient Therapy is generally very safe. As long as patients don’t have any known allergies to the substances and materials being used, there should be no issues.
- It is important to note that with any injection or venipuncture there are risks of: bruising, pain, infection, redness, swelling, and anaphylaxis. Bruising and mild pain can sometimes occur but it’s very short lived. Infection and anaphylaxis are very rare, but none the less those potential side effects need to be disclosed. Your naturopathic doctor and the clinic are equipped to deal if such situations were to arise.
- It is important to contact your Naturopathic Doctor if any adverse reactions were to arise so he/she can then deal with the situation appropriately.
4- How long should I be on Intravenous IV Therapy?
- This is completely based on the individual needs of the patient.
- A patient who is very depleted, suffers from a chronic disease, chronic stress or chronic infections and low immune system, receiving a Vitamin IV weekly for at least 1-2 months is recommended. After the patient is feeling better, maintenance dose would be 1 IV per month.
- A patient who is fighting a current infection (cold, pneumonia, etc) 1 or 2 IVs can be administered 1 week apart until the symptoms resolve. It is important to note that sometimes a Vitamin IV can exacerbate the symptoms in a case of an acute infection such as a common cold or flu, but you should recover from it faster than you otherwise would. In this case I always advise patients who are wanting to get an IV to kick that cold- if you can’t skip a day or 2 of work in case the symptoms get worse, then might be better not to get an IV. Although the symptoms might get worse, they won’t last as long as they would if you didn’t get an IV. Other patients will just feel better from an IV and won’t get symptom exacerbation.
- If a patient is generally healthy and they want to keep it that way and optimize their health, then getting an IV once every couple of months is ideal.