What Is IV Therapy?
Intravenous (IV) therapy has been a valuable tool for my medical practice since I became a physician. As an emergency room (ER) doctor prior to founding Vitality, I used IV therapy to quickly resuscitate critically ill patients, control pain, and treat bacterial infections. Now, as a functional medicine physician, I use it to provide precious IV nutrients to help my patients feel better and recover faster from complex chronic medical conditions and acute illnesses.
How does IV therapy work?
IV therapy involves directly accessing a person’s bloodstream by sticking a small catheter — a thin tube — into a vein. For critically ill patients in the ER, I accessed larger, central veins in the neck or groin. This allowed medicine to be delivered straight to the heart and enabled us to monitor pressures in the venous system, an indicator of overall fluid status. At Vitality, that type of IV therapy is not needed, so we use the smaller peripheral veins, usually located in the elbow crease or the back of the hand. Once we have access to the vein, we can deliver nutrients — vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants ¬— directly into the blood stream without having to go through the digestive system.
Most of my patients have digestive issues, which can impair their absorption of oral nutrients from food and supplements. By bypassing the digestive system, I know that 100% of the nutrients infused are entering the patient’s blood for circulation throughout the body to bathe the cells. This concentrated bathing allows each cell to absorb the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Some vitamins, like vitamin C, don’t get fully absorbed in the digestive system or reach optimal tissue levels when taken orally. So, even if a patient consumes higher amounts of vitamin C, he or she won’t absorb more and may even experience side effects like digestive distress.
At Vitality, we provide concentrated infusions using 100-200 mL of liquid, which are more effective than diluted solutions where the vitamins and minerals are placed in 500 mL or even 1 liter of fluid. These concentrated solutions appear to be more medicinal and deliver higher amounts of nutrients over a shorter amount of time.
Are there different types of IV treatments?
At Vitality, we offer three kinds of IV therapies: Customized IVs, Specialized IVs, and Nutrient Blends. Our Customized IV is our most popular and is individually formulated by me to help you achieve your medical goals and support your condition. For a base formula, I often start with the traditional Myer’s Cocktail, which contains a mixture of B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, and calcium. Then I add other nutrients, amino acids, or antioxidants, depending on clinical symptoms or the results of specific micronutrient blood testing.
Our Specialized IVs are those that usually contain one main ingredient. Vitality’s most popular Specialized IV is NAD — nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide — a coenzyme that supports mitochondria and energy production, detoxification, and has been shown to have many anti-aging capabilities. For more information about the benefits of NAD, please read my previous blog post. Other Specialized IVs include High-Dose Vitamin C, Phosphatidylcholine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Glutathione.
People who have a specific goal in mind and are otherwise fairly healthy can choose from our Nutrient Blends. Each of these formulas is designed to support a specific purpose, including energy production (Energy IV), detoxification (Detoxify IV), hydration (Rehydrate and Rehydrate Plus), improving athletic performance (Endurance), weight loss (Fat Burner), immune function (Immune Boost, Super Immune), restoration of mind and body (Rest and Relax, Clarity), and boosting collagen production for healthy skin, hair, nails, and eyes (Glow).
Whatever your goals or health condition, IV therapy is one of the most accessible and cutting-edge medical technologies available to help improve your quality of life. Contact Vitality today to schedule an appointment and learn more about which IV therapies can most benefit to you.