IV Drips, Why Even Bother?
If you go to my menu, you'll find intramuscular (IM) and intravenous (IV) nutrient therapy. I'm sure you guys have heard about vitamin injections and have a couple questions. So, I'll lay it all out all for you, such as why even bother with them; the adverse effects; when to choose between IM or IV therapy; and how often you need to get them.
First, why even care about IM and IV therapy? They are both ways for your body to get nutrients faster and more direct to cells that need nutritional nourishment. When you take vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients orally, they have to go through the liver, where they are metabolized and excreted (via urine or feces). This whole process reduces the amount of bioavailable nutrients that can go to your cells, which mean they take longer for you to see therapeutic effects. Also, if your gut is compromised due to excessive inflammation from chronic bowel disease or chronic exposure to food that you are intolerant to, you absorb nutrients less readily. So, IM and IV therapies are vital measures needed for you to replete your body of nutrients. Furthermore, IM and IV therapies can be tailored depending upon your health goals. Some treatments are more nutritive in effect while others are goal-oriented, such as increase immune function, reducing blood pressure, reducing severity of asthma, improving mood and stress, and increasing detoxification processes, just to name a few.
Second, what are the adverse effects? With both, there is a possibility of redness, bruising, and soreness at the site of injection. There is also a possibility of drug interactions with the vitamins and nutrients in the IM shot or in the IV drip bag. So, communicating what drugs that you are on to your doctor is needed. There is also a small risk of allergies and anaphylaxis from the therapies. Symptoms that are told to patients to watch out for are itching, hives, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and chest pain or tightness. IF these symptoms do occur, it is vital that you go to the emergency department to get proper treatment for anaphylaxis. Again, the risk of these is minimal and are mitigated with the pre-IM or pre-IV intake with your doctor (I'll cover what usually happens in a pre-IV and pre-IM intake below).
Third, what's the difference between IM and IV therapy? Basically, IM therapy carries less nutrients than IV therapy. In IV therapy, a full bag of saline, sterile water, or Lactated Ringer's solution is combined with goal-specific nutrients. Since there are much more nutrients involved in IV therapy, they tend to be more expensive than IM therapy. So, depending on your wellness goals, your doctor may recommend IM or IV therapy. I like to give IV therapies to those who need great replenishment (such as dehydration or hangovers), need nutrient-specific acute care (such as infections), or have long-standing conditions (such as high blood pressure, MTHFR, immune dysfunction, asthma, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, IBS, and SIBO). I prefer to give IM therapies to those who just need a little boost through their day or don't need as many nutrients found in an IV treatment.
Fourth, how often do you need to get them? I tell people to start off getting 1 or 2 treatments a week for nutrient repletion, 4-5 times per week for chronic conditions. If you do not have any long-standing gastrointestinal conditions, IVs and IMs are not forever. I like to reduce IV and IM therapy while steadily increasing oral nutrient therapy and tracking lab results as we progress towards getting you back to wellness.
Fifth, what's the pre-treatment intake like? For IV treatments, I like to have an initial visit with clients, which is 90 minutes. During that time, I find out what your current health state is, what your health goals are, what your past health history is, what your habits are, and what your family health history is like. I will then do diagnostic physical examinations and recommend labs before your treatment. I like to have a few essential labs completed before an IV is done, such as a CBC, CMP, CRP, and G6PD. I may recommend more labs depending upon your health goals and health history. On the day of your treatment, we first do a urinalysis to get a snapshot of your kidneys on that day and get the regular vitals (blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and pulse). Then, if all things are okay, we start the IV treatment and you can chill for 60-90 minutes as you recharge your body and replete yourself with nutrients. For IM injections, a quick 10-minute intake is completed and then we provide the specific injection you are requesting if things are good with the intake. Fast, easy, and simple.
There ya' go, you know the basics of IV and IM nutrient therapy! If you're interested in getting an IV drip, make sure to book that initial visit as soon as possible. Once that initial intake is completed, you can come as often as you like for an IV (just make sure to book an appointment at least a day or two before). If you're seeking quick boosts, you can just come the day-of for an IM injection (just make sure to call beforehand so that we can make a fresh injection for you).
Xoxo, Dr. B
DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. There are no financial ties to any supplement companies, pharmaceutical companies, or to any of the products mentioned in this post. This post is not meant to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose conditions or diseases and is meant for educational purposes. As always, please consult your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements.