Intravenous or IV therapies are widely used in hospitals to treat dehydration or to deliver nutrition to patients who are too ill to eat properly. In recent years, we have seen IV clinics administering IV therapy to rapidly diminish the effects of hangover. Increasingly, we are seeing how people who want an immunity or nutritional boost are seeking IV therapy at IV clinics or through in-home or in-office visits. What is behind the growing popularity of IV therapy and what are the benefits?
Nutritional Deficiencies on the Rise
Nutritional epidemiology has gone from a small subdiscipline to a major branch of public health importance as we have seen nutritional deficiencies continue to affect more people within developed countries. Even as the study has resulted in the purpose of nutritional recommendations being aimed at the prevention of diseases, we are still seeing many people dealing with such issues as malnutrition, nutrition cancers, food intolerance, fatigue disorders, eating disorders, vitamin B12 deficiencies and more.
Vitamin Supplementation is Not without its Challenges
Despite eating a nutritional diet, there are still some people who struggle with metabolic disorders, have undergone bariatric surgery or have certain disease states that prevent sufficient nutritional uptake on a cellular level. While nutritional supplements are widely available to help heal the damage to cells because of a nutritional deficiency, the burden of taking as many as 60 different oral supplements every day can become debilitating.
Supplements must be consumed with food, so they can be digested and absorbed in the small intestine. Once the enzymes break them down into their molecular pieces, the body finally gets the protein benefit of amino acids, which are then passed through the bloodstream to the liver for detoxification. This process of assimilating the necessary vitamins and minerals is a complex one, which may be subject to interruption or incomplete absorption. This is where vitamin IV therapy can help.
IV Therapy Basics
It could be said that vitamin IV therapy began with Dr. John Myers, a Baltimore physician, who developed a nutrient infusion. After Dr. Myers passed on in the 1980s, Dr. Alan Gaby of Concord, N.H. modified the ingredients and dosages to conform to the research of the time. In honor of Dr. Myers, Dr. Gaby named this IV therapy the “Myers’ Cocktail.”
The cocktail is a mix of vitamins and minerals that are meant to enhance the immune system and to treat fatigue, to aid in managing allergic reactions and to reduce the symptoms of migraine, asthma and fibromyalgia. By administering supplements intravenously, Dr. Myers succeeded in bypassing any difficulties with digestion while still providing an energy boost, albeit temporary.
The Benefits of IV Therapy
IV therapy allows for 100 percent absorption as it is administered directly into the bloodstream. This method of delivery has proven far more effective than by taking oral supplements along with food as it reaches the body’s tissues at higher doses allowing for complete tissue saturation for enhanced results.
IV therapy is customized to suit the needs of each patient and to achieve maximum effectiveness with minimal side effects. This infusion therapy provides an immediate therapeutic response because it loads the body with the necessary nutrients to restore energy and boost the defenses.
In addition to those conditions already mentioned, IV therapy is now used to treat a wide range of medical issues including but not limited to:
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Chronic sinusitis
- Coronary artery disease
- Detoxification and chelation
- High cholesterol
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson’s disease
- Upper respiratory infection
If you are interested in receiving IV therapy, it is important to ensure the clinic you choose is staffed by qualified physicians or nurses certified in delivering IVs. You should receive a medical evaluation before you are correctly cleared for the procedure. You must have the opportunity to communicate your medical history, advise any medications you are taking or allergies you have so that your treatment can be customized to your needs. Approach IV therapy as a part of the whole plan of good health including proper nutrition, regular exercise and sufficient sleep.
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