The Truth about IV Therapy

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As a medical doctor with a thriving IV Therapy and Functional Medicine practice, I hear a lot of questions about IV Vitamin Therapy.  How does this method of delivering vitamins, nutrients and cofactors affect health?  Read on and I’ll give you all the answers.

Why IV Therapy?

The human needs vitamins and nutrients as cofactors to help in the thousands of enzymatic processes that take place within each cell to produce energy, to get rid of toxins, to keep the Ph balance and keep the milieu optimal. 

Ideally, we would get these from the food we eat. Even if we all ate perfectly balanced diets with lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, we still wouldn’t get enough nutrients to keep our cells functioning well because the quality of foods we get is depleted in nutrients because of the way food is grown, genetically modified and harvested and also we all suffer from some degree of gut compromise or leaky gut such that the nutrients cannot be absorbed from the gut into circulation for use.

IV Vitamin Drip - An Alternative
American's have become obsessed with vitamin supplementation. But does it work?

Only twenty percent of oral supplements, even the best quality, is absorbed by the gut for use. This is where IV Therapy comes in. 

There are many terms in use that mean the same thing: IV Therapy, IV therapy hydration, IV Therapy Vitamins, IV infusion and Myers cocktail. For the purposes of this blog, I will use IV Therapy. The benefit of  IV Therapy is that it directly delivers one hundred percent of the nutrients into the blood stream, ready for use by the cells. That is why patients feel better almost immediately after just one treatment, however weekly therapy is often recommended to heal the deficit of many years.

What do we use in IV Therapy?

There is usually some sort of fluid to carry the vitamins and minerals into the blood stream. Almost all of them have a varying amount of Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, various B vitamins, folic acid and trace minerals. The combination depends on what is the purpose of the treatment.

What are the uses of IV Therapy?

Most if not all medical conditions are rooted in inflammation. From a common cold to high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s, the basic reason is inflammation and inflammation creates free radical’s which damage tissue and cause aging.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that donates a hydrogen ion to these free radicals, thus neutralizing them and making them harmless. Depending on the severity of the condition, a lot or little of that is needed.

Everyone has different health needs. That's why you need a physician's guidance.

For example, someone on chemo therapy will need a lot of it to neutralize the harmful effects of chemotherapy on the body’s healthy cells and thus “ high dose Vitamin C” is used. Meaning the IV therapy has large amounts, 50-70g of vitamin C.

Someone with a common cold may not need as much and may instead need some zinc and thus the composition is different. Someone with depression may need more B6 to help the conversion of dopa into serotonin, the chemical in the brain that helps us to feel relaxed, someone with chronic fatigue may need large amounts of B vitamins and magnesium and so on. So, it’s not one size fits all. Someone with compromised kidney function may need caution with how much fluid we put in. That is why I often caution people about just walking into an IV bar and order a cocktail.

Even though it’s only a combination of vitamins and minerals, a lot can go wrong if we don’t have basic medical information and blood work. I know there are places out there that market it as a “hangover” cure. But, what I am talking about is more specific and targeted medical therapy for specific conditions that needs a provider overseeing your health care.

Which brings me to the point that not all IV Therapies are the same. Just because it’s called IV therapy, doesn’t mean it has the right amounts of nutrients that your body needs.

Don’t fall for cheaper gimmicks. Your health is precious. Use a reputable place that has a physician over seeing what IV you are getting.

How much does IV Therapy cost?

The cost varies from $125-$350, depending on where you go. At Enliven Me, most IV’s are $175.

Do we add IV Glutathione in our IV Therapy and Why?

Yes! We always use glutathione to potentiate the antioxidant effects of the IV Therapy.

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that we take in our diet and is also synthesized in the body unlike Vitamin C which is only available through exogenous sources. However, as discussed earlier, we often don’t get enough of it and thus have insufficient amounts for the liver to detoxify the hundreds of chemicals that we are exposed to every day.

Also, if we are exposed to a lot of toxic chemicals, through work environment or poor dietary habits, or lots of medications, the body gets depleted and toxins build up Also, a lot of people have a genetic snip that makes them unable to make glutathione. .

So, if you have any signs of inflammation in your body, it means your body needs extra antioxidants. This is why we add this in all our IV’s.

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