There are several ways that people refer to IV nutritional therapy. Some people call it IV vitamin therapy, while others call it IV micronutrient therapy. Regardless of name preference, the purpose remains the same: to provide supplemental vitamins and micronutrients into your body to improve the body’s state of health and overall well-being.
IV nutrient therapy administration has become increasingly popular in recent times. Some athletes receive intravenous vitamins after their games to help improve and speed up their recovery. Another common reason people seek out IV vitamin therapy is to aid in managing certain medical conditions.
IV stands for intravenous, meaning that the vitamins and micronutrients are administered into the body through the veins. The IV drip delivers nutrients directly to the bloodstream. Tablets and pill supplements are often poorly absorbed by the GI tract. This process bypasses digestion to provide quicker delivery to the cells that need it.
IV nutrition is designed to help with healing or enhance levels of insufficient vitamins and minerals in your body, not replace food.
Benefits of IV Nutrition
IV Nutrition offers a number of benefits that make it so prevalent and advantageous in healthcare. These benefits include:
- Direct delivery of nutrients
- Correcting fluid, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies
- Preventing dehydration
- Lowering the risk of complications
- Decreasing inflammation and pain
- Boosting immune function
- Preventing cell damage
Conditions that Benefit from IV Nutrition Therapy
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There’s no way to test directly for CFS. Its symptoms are often common and consistent with other diseases or conditions that need to be ruled out, so often CFS is diagnosed only when there’s nothing else to check.
Symptoms also vary widely among CFS patients. You may experience one or more of the following, at various levels of intensity:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Sleep cycles that provide no refreshment
- Sore throat
- Aches and pains that have no logical explanation
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Memory and focus issues
- Physical or mental exertion exhausts you
Fatigue is a symptom of many diseases, so it’s common to undergo extensive testing to pinpoint the reason. Most patients diagnosed with CFS have already had numerous illnesses ruled out. CFS often accompanies autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lupus.
Once a CFS diagnosis is made, it’s time to explore treatment options to minimize the impact of the symptoms. Often, this includes trials to explore what works for you. Since CFS accompanies a number of conditions, treating those conditions may also reduce the effects of CFS.
IV therapy usually enters the picture when other treatments fail to produce sufficient improvements.
Surgery usually causes trauma to the body and may increase the body’s need for certain nutrients. IVNT delivers those nutrients, such as antioxidants, to stabilize your body’s reactions, reduce oxidation,swelling, and inflammation, support the immune system, and enhance healing.
If you think about it, you’re usually told to fast and stop taking certain medications and supplements before surgery, which sets you up for nutrient deficiencies before you even enter the operating room. IVNT helps replace these lost nutrients for better surgical outcomes.
Pain is often associated with inflammation and swelling, which IVNT can help address. Your provider can use an IV infusion to deliver nutrients that provide relief for conditions like fibromyalgia, neuropathy, migraine, arthritis, and spinal cord injury. Depending on your condition, some vitamins and anti-inflammatory nutrients can address factors that contribute to pain.
In addition to these situations, IVNT can also benefit autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, thyroid disorders, asthma, respiratory infections, and many more, making it a common treatment modality which promotes healing.
What are the Components of an IV Micronutrient Infusion?
There are a variety of substances that may be in typical IV micronutrient infusion. The IV micronutrient infusion components are tailored to the reason for its use; different illnesses or medical conditions may require a particular combination of IV vitamins and micronutrients. Additionally, the components of an IV vitamin bag may also be tailored based on the needs of the individual receiving the infusion; individuals may tolerate some components more than others or be intolerant to specific substances.
Generally, some substances that may be found in a typical IV vitamin infusion bag include the following:
- Vitamin CStudies have been performed that indicate several of the benefits of intravenous vitamin C. In the critically ill, vitamin C administered intravenously may help in the management of sepsis; it may also be of use in managing certain kinds of cancer. For individuals in good health, intravenous vitamins may serve to boost immunity and increase energy levels.
- Vitamin B complexSeveral vitamins make up the B complex group of vitamins. Some of these vitamins are Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin B5 (Dexpanthenol), and Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6). These vitamins play essential functions in the processes that take place in the human body.
- Vitamin B12This is also known as cyanocobalamin. It serves many purposes in the human body; however, its primary function is in the production of red blood cells. A deficiency of this vitamin may result in a condition known as macrocytic megaloblastic anemia.
- Folic acidThis is also known as folate. Similar to cyanocobalamin, folic acid helps in the development of red blood cells. Its deficiency may also result in macrocytic megaloblastic anemia.
- CalciumCalcium is necessary for the development of strong and healthy bones. People who are lacking in calcium in their body may end up with a condition known as osteoporosis.
- GlutathioneThis is an antioxidant that facilitates many key processes in the body.
When Should You Receive an IV Micronutrient Infusion?
A person may start with an IV vitamin therapy if their healthcare provider recommends it. Other considerations that may warrant the need for IV vitamin therapy are the following:
- Individuals suffering or recovering from illnesses; IV vitamins may help boost the immune system and speed up recovery.
- Individuals who feel run down and have chronic low energy.
- Individuals with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
- Athletes before and after major sporting activities.
For the most part, anyone can receive an IV vitamin infusion. The components are generally well-tolerated, and the risks of adverse effects, though present, are mild.
Types of IV Micronutrient Therapy
There are many types of intravenous vitamin infusions that are available for administration. These types can be categorized based on the reason for which the infusions are administered. The different types of IV vitamin bags often have many similar ingredients; what makes them different is the quantities of the individual ingredients in each vitamin bag type. Some common types of IV micronutrient therapy infusions are:
- Myers cocktailthis is one of the earliest and most common IV vitamin therapy types. There are a variety of recipes that can be used to make up the Myers cocktail, depending on the physician as well as the preferences of the individual receiving the infusion.
- Immune boostersThese IV bags contain ingredients that have been shown to help the immune system. These infusions are designed to improve the time it takes for healing to occur, reduce inflammation and duration of illnesses, and guard against infection.
- Metabolism boostersThese infusions are designed to boost overall body metabolism, restore energy levels, burn off body fat, and improve body performance.
- Recovery enhancersThese infusions are mainly for athletes or those who perform frequent high-intensity exercises. The ingredients in these bags have been shown to reduce tissue inflammation, shorten the recovery time after the exercise, replenish essential nutrients, and improve the athletes' overall performance.
Schedule your consult with one of our Advanced Spine & Posture providers to better understand what vitamin therapy is best suited for you.