Nobody likes needles. But these cringe-inducing skin-prickers are imperative in the delivery of IVs, which are a staple in the healthcare industry today. Chances are, you or your loved one will undergo some type of IV therapy in your medical history. The vast applications of this therapy reach anyone with cancer, to someone who simply experiences dehydration. It is used for both medical and nutritional purposes. In this article, we will define IV therapy, naming some common uses and types, then we will explore vitamin therapy as well as complications that can occur from IVs.
IV therapy is the direct administration of nutrients and fluids into veins, allowing them to become immediately absorbed into the body by bypassing the digestive system. This is done by way of a small tube inserted into the vein, known as a cannula. IV therapy is short for “intravenous therapy.” Intravenous means “inside the vein.” This is the fastest way for nutrients to spread through the body and get to the organs. This mode of nutrient administration results in up to 100% absorption rate, in comparison to a 20-50% absorption rate when taken orally.
You may have heard about IV therapy being the latest health trend popularized by athletes and celebrities. However, the history of injections and transfusions goes back centuries. Up until relatively recently, IVs have been used for medical intervention during an illness. But these days it has become trendy to utilize vitamin drips. Intravenous therapy can consist of incorporating fluids, blood transfusions, medications, or nutrients into the bloodstream. As you can see, different kinds of IVs are used for different purposes. We will first explore these uses:
The type of IV used depends on how long the treatment needs to take effect, as well as how much needs to be injected. It also depends on if more than one substance needs to be transfused at a time. Here are the 3 types of intravenous methods:
It’s all the rage. But since IV vitamin therapy has turned into a fad glamorized by the rich and famous, it may be hard to take it seriously. We ask, does IV therapy work when you incorporate vitamins? It turns out that having higher levels of vitamins and minerals directly shot into your bloodstream can lead to a greater absorption into the cells. This will allow them to fight illness easier and stay healthy longer. If these nutrients are taken orally and therefore absorbed through the stomach, there are a variety of factors that affect the body’s ability to efficiently do so. Some factors include things like age, health, genes, metabolism, and kinds of products and food we consume. Having a direct shot into our bloodstreams bypasses all of that. With a direct IV infusion, we are more easily able to treat a wide range of health issues.
One of the more popularized vitamin cocktails is the Myers’ cocktail, as mentioned previously. Today these vitamin infusions are still popular and have a lot more benefits than simply treating a hangover. This type of therapy is also recommended for those who don’t eat enough, or who suffer from a condition that doesn’t allow them to properly absorb all the nutrients.
Some common conditions that can be benefitted by a Myers’ cocktail treatment are:
Besides the list of conditions above, there is a wide range of added benefits associated with various vitamin treatments. For this reason, many people who are otherwise quite healthy will utilize intravenous vitamin therapy to boost wellness and energy, among other things. The list of benefits of IV therapy goes on and on. Some of them are:
Each vitamin cocktail is tailored to each person’s needs. The client must be evaluated beforehand to make sure he or she is a good candidate for the treatment. Only rely on this medical advice given by a healthcare professional that you trust. Here is a breakdown of how the process usually goes:
It is common for the patient will start to feel a boost immediately following the treatment but will feel all the effects fully 12 to 24 hours after. These effects can last anywhere from 8 days to 3 weeks. How long they last depend on the patient’s condition, the mixture, and the type of therapy.
So let’s talk about vitamins. The vitamins used in an infusion are water-soluble, which means your body will soak in the nutrients it needs, then excrete the rest through the kidneys and out through the urine. Infusions may contain a single vitamin or a cocktail mixture of vitamins and minerals. Some of the most common ingredients used for an intravenous vitamin drip contain vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, and antioxidants. One particular antioxidant, glutathione, has been shown to improve rigidity, posture, speech, gait, and decreased body movement. There are multitudes of nutrients that can be infused into an IV treatment, but it is best to find what will work best with each person’s needs and tailor the infusion to that.
Your doctor can assess your levels of these vitamins and minerals and recommend what would be best for you. However, it must be said that in general, most people can get enough of their daily nutrients through a balanced diet. Thus the need for an IV vitamin drip is questionable for most people. IV vitamin therapy really should only be utilized by those who have a medical need for it, and have been prescribed by a doctor. This is especially true since undergoing IV therapy does pose some risks associated with it.
If you truly want to undergo intravenous vitamin therapy, make sure you do a fair amount of research first. Talk with your primary care physician to get his or her opinion on if it is right for you. Have them check for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies you may have that would be benefitted from such a treatment. Be sure that your doctor is also taking into account any medical conditions you have when making the evaluation.
Also, be sure that the doctor you see regarding the treatment is professionally established and board-certified. The clinic that you plan to attend the procedure may not be closely regulated. Be sure to check out their reputation as a well-respected IV therapy clinic by looking at reviews. Make sure the clinic is clean, and that the medical professionals are washing their hands and changing gloves when necessary. You even have the right to ask for their credentials if you feel suspicious of their level of professionalism.
Undergoing an intravenous treatment is typically a safe procedure and does not often have adverse effects. However, your treatment must be the right amount of vitamins and minerals for you, otherwise having a higher amount may increase the risk of negative effects. Here are some side effects that may result from IV therapy:
Intravenous therapy has boomed in the last century, despite being a centuries-old technique. These days we have seen celebrities and athletes get pricked by needles, alongside people with a growing number of treatable conditions. The advancements in technology, equipment, and knowledge of proper techniques have caused this therapy to become a relatively painless and risk-free process. The successful treatment of a condition by IV often far outweighs the possible complications that can occur. However, you must be your judge.
Besides weighing the possible complications, it is important to pay attention to who you are allowing you to treat you with an IV. Make sure you surround yourself with authorized experienced professionals that will treat you with the best care. And consider if something like treating a hangover is worth possible negative side effects. We here at CareAsOne hope that this article has given you a better idea of what you can expect from this type of therapy. Knowing your options can help you communicate with your doctor about treatments you might be interested in. From anything from chronic disease to stress symptoms, we wish you only the best health running through your veins.