Have you been feeling under the weather lately? That’s often the starting point for our patients who call to enquire about Intravenous (IV) therapy. You may have heard about IVs for energy levels, the immune system, and athletic recovery, but maybe you’re not sure exactly what all the fuss is about. Let’s have a look at some of our most popular IV vitamin therapies to give you a better idea.
What exactly is an IV Drip?
An IV drip is a way of using gravity to infuse fluids directly into the bloodstream intravenously via an IV bag that is connected with a blood vessel in your arm. The same system is commonly used in hospitals for fluids and medications, but at the Waterdown Clinic of Functional and Integrative Medicine, we approach IV therapy from a preventive perspective, infusing custom doses of vitamins and minerals based on each individual’s unique needs.
“Wellness” Nutrient Therapy (aka Vitamin IVs)
Nutrients can be administered very efficiently through an IV drip. They bypass the digestive process and flow directly into the bloodstream, making them ideal for patients with poor mineral absorption, inflammatory gut conditions or poor digestion.
IV nutrients are also helpful when high doses are needed to correct an existing imbalance. Oral supplements are processed through the digestive system, which significantly reduces their potency, whereas an IV drip delivers 100 percent of the benefits of these essential vitamins and nutrients straight to the bloodstream and into the organs, muscles, and cells that need them.
Deficiencies in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) such as zinc, selenium, and vitamin B6 are common these days due to high-stress levels, poor quality nutrition, and a rushed lifestyle. Even minor deficiencies in these specific vitamins and minerals can have a negative influence on your health and your ability to fight off illness. Replacing these nutrients can have a significant and measurable effect on helping your body’s systems to work optimally and efficiently.
Who Can Benefit from High-Dose Nutrients?
There is a variety of reasons patients choose IV therapy, the most common are:
- Intestinal damage and poor mineral absorption
- Patients undergoing conventional medical treatment for a disease or condition looking for supportive nutrients and help with side effects
- Disease prevention and anti-aging
- Exhaustion and low energy levels
- Rehydration and workout recovery
The Most Popular IV Nutrient Therapies Available at the Waterdown Clinic:
Not every IV is suitable for every patient, in fact, lab work and a thorough assessment of your symptoms and health history are necessary in order to identify any nutrient deficiencies and decide on the best option and dose. Let’s have a closer look at 3 of our most popular IV bags:
High Dose Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant due to its ability to donate an electron where needed and help prevent oxidative damage. Your body doesn’t make it but it is very much needed, making vitamin C an essential nutrient that is used in the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. Its many functions include the formation of collagen, the absorption of iron from food, the proper functioning of the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage and bones.
When taken orally, only a small percentage of the vitamin C taken is actually bioavailable after having gone through the digestive process. However, when taken through an IV drip, 100 percent of the vitamin C is delivered directly to the bloodstream where it can readily reach the muscles, organs, and cells that need it.
IV vitamin C has been and continues to be extensively studied for its great potential in supporting patients with a variety of diagnoses. Here are a few of the reasons our patients appreciate it:
Supportive Cancer Care
High-dose vitamin C has been studied as a supportive measure for patients with cancer since the 1970s. It is used to help reduce the severity of adverse side-effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation by assisting with pain, fatigue, and nausea. It is important to talk to your medical doctor and discuss any potential interactions with your medication before starting any supportive therapies.
Optimal Immune Function
Vitamin C is involved in various cellular functions in the immune system where it helps the activity of the many cells that make up the immune defence. It also helps to protect the skin, the body’s largest barrier, against environmental oxidative stress so that it can better protect the body from outside pathogens.
Vitamin C deficiency is implicated in impaired immunity and a higher susceptibility to infections, and ongoing infections will “use up” a lot of vitamin C because of the metabolic damage and inflammation they cause. Recent research looks at its application in supporting recovery from respiratory conditions including Covid-19.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, helping to build and strengthen the skin, the walls and absorbent membranes of the digestive system, the bones, blood vessels, muscles, and tendons. Collagen is the glue that holds your body’s structures together, and vitamin C is crucial for its production.
Patients with cardiovascular concerns, inflammatory bowel conditions and gut damage, skin troubles, and joint issues may all find benefit in improved vitamin C levels to help ensure their collagen remains in optimal condition.
Myers’ cocktail is a solution of magnesium, calcium, B-vitamins, and vitamin C that was originally used by Dr. John Myers in his Baltimore clinic. The high concentration of nutrients in Myers’ cocktail can only be absorbed when administered intravenously and provide support for overall health and the reduction of symptoms.
Reduction of Symptoms
Our patients appreciate a Myers’ Cocktail infusion for help with:
- acute asthma attacks
- fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
- acute muscle spasms
- seasonal allergies
- common cold
- depression and anxiety
You may have heard people talk of an IV drip to help with hangovers, Myers’ cocktail is that drip. It is commonly used to treat dehydration and help restore energy levels. Patients typically experience an almost instantaneous boost in energy combined with an elevated immune response, leaving them with a general feeling of wellness.
Glutathione, sometimes called the “Master Antioxidant”, is produced in the liver and works throughout the body to promote cell regeneration, especially in the skin and eyes. It is also obtained from a healthy diet although the digestive process means that the body breaks much of it down into its component amino acids.
Aging Related Conditions
High glutathione levels are positively associated with good health and longevity. As we deal with ongoing emotional and environmental stress, or simply as we naturally get older, our glutathione stores tend to dwindle allowing our cells to age. Glutathione has shown good results in reducing symptoms of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol (heart disease), memory impairment, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and osteoarthritis.
Glutathione is the body’s garbage collector, helping to move waste, heavy metals, and environmental toxins out of cells as well as playing a major role in helping your liver detoxify harmful chemicals by binding to the toxins and facilitating their easy elimination. Glutathione makes its way through every tissue in the body enabling various cleansing and detoxing functions.
The lack of adequate glutathione levels leads to increased free radicals (unstable atoms that damage cells) that further the progression of disease. If Glutathione levels are low, you are susceptible to a revolving door of conditions, but if glutathione levels are normal, the body’s ability to fight neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease is strong. Glutathione deficiency is a leading cause of cell death, and replenishing glutathione levels in cells can help as preventative maintenance to stave off many diseases and conditions.
Glutathione lasts only a short while in the body after infusion, and the availability of the amino acid cysteine is a factor. For this reason, adding cysteine in the form of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to your drip can help to increase the longevity of glutathione after an infusion.
IV Vitamin Therapy in Waterdown, Ontario
The Waterdown Clinic’s IV lounge has been built with the goal of helping you to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, to help you look radiant and feel awake and energetic, support you through illness, and to help prevent the many common conditions that affect modern society.
IV Vitamin Formulations Available
As well as the popular formulations we have delved into in this article, there are many ways your IV can be customised. Your practitioner will run labs to evaluate your health and nutrient status prior to formulating a treatment protocol to suit your body’s specific needs. Protocols can focus on a wide range of benefits, including:
- Immune Support
- Energy & Cognition
- Mood & Sleep
- Surgery & Illness Recovery
- Athletic Recovery
- And more based on your lab results.
If you would like to discuss how intravenous nutrient therapy can help you to look and feel your best, give us a call at 905-690-9151, we’ll be happy to help!
High-Dose Vitamin C: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7172861/
The Myers’ Cocktail: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12410623/