Many people are deeply interested in coming by new ideas to improve their health. When a health procedure promises better energy, better immunity, faster recovery from illness, hangovers of lower intensity, or an improved ability to concentrate, they want to try it to see if it helps them. Intravenous vitamin drips are one of the newest treatments to gain popularity. While they have been used since the 70s, it is only recently, with help from celebrity endorsements and the stamp of approval from social media influencers, that they have really taken off. Today, IV vitamin therapy is one of the most sought-after services at naturopathic treatment clinics, wellness centers, spas, and health clinics. But does elective vitamin IV therapy make sense for everyone? Should you choose to enhance your health with a vitamin IV?
Vitamin IV therapy: what is it?
Intravenous vitamin drips are customized blends of vitamins in saline solution (the saline is at a concentration level that is similar to the blood’s own salt levels). The vitamins to use for a given patient are picked by the medical provider at the outlet that they go to, depending on the kinds of vitamins that they need. Vitamins may be blended together for better fat-burning ability, for a hangover, jet lag, or simply for better immunity.
Intravenous vitamin therapy is designed to directly deliver intensive supplies of nutrients to the body. The nutrient concentrations made possible by the IV route tend to be difficult to achieve through the conventional oral or intramuscular routes.
Vitamin therapy clinics tend to offer different kinds of vitamin mixes to clients. The Myers Cocktail is the best-known vitamin mix used in vitamin therapy. It is a blend of calcium, magnesium, the B complex, and vitamin C. The Myers Cocktail has been found in studies to help improve quality of life for people struggling with asthma, chronic fatigue, allergies, depression, anxiety, and migraines. Other mixes are believed to help with insomnia, stress, the common cold, respiratory infections, sinusitis, heart disease, fibromyalgia, and even better skin, nails, and hair.
Is vitamin IV therapy effective?
The list of benefits available to those who use IV vitamin therapy can sound impressive; when it does work, it can be fast and efficient, as well, considering that the nutrients do not need to make their way past the digestive system to get to the bloodstream.
If you already take pills for other health conditions, getting IV vitamin therapy can be a way to reduce your pill load, as well. The fact is, however, that scientific evidence in support of vitamin therapy is inadequate, at best. Much of the support that exists for this is anecdotal in nature.
Many doctors tend to be skeptical about claims that this type of therapy actually does anything that it is claimed to achieve. For those who are healthy or have no health complaints, per se, the benefits claimed for IV vitamin therapy are doubtful. There is little medical literature that provides proof that it actually helps.
In many cases, healthy people who try vitamin therapy may simply over-supply themselves with vitamins, and excrete them by way of the kidneys. The vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, rather than water-soluble, however. If you supply your body with greater quantities of these vitamins than your body actually needs, you may be at risk of vitamin toxicity.
Doctors tend to be of the opinion that IV vitamin therapy is a good idea when you do struggle with an extreme vitamin deficiency, a condition that tends to be common after long illnesses or after alcohol binges. They are a good idea when your body actually needs a quick, if short-lived nutrient fix. When your health is stable choosing invasive intravenous treatment as a way to boost may not be the wisest application of one’s resources.
Precautions to keep in mind
If you make up your mind and feel that this type of therapy is something that you should look more deeply into, it is important to be aware of conditions in which it may be a bad idea. Vitamin therapy tends to be ill-advised when you are pregnant, or when you have diabetes or high blood pressure that is not under control. A vitamin therapy clinic needs to evaluate you to determine if the treatment method is a good match for you in your specific case.
A doctor should look at your vitals, pay attention to known allergies, and your medical history. They should also be aware of how you fare on tests for vitamin deficiencies. Celebrity model Kendall Jenner was in the news at one point for the way she had an allergic reaction to vitamin therapy.
It is likely, some experts speculate, that the clinic she went to didn’t formulate the saline correctly or administer it properly. It is for reasons such as this that you need to make a point to accept vitamin therapy at a clinic where treatment is overseen by a licensed medical doctor, and administered by qualified nurses.
Alternatives to vitamin IV therapy
Most people do go through life with vitamin deficiencies of different descriptions. People who follow certain restrictive diets such as vegetarianism or veganism, for example, tend to suffer from deficiencies of vitamin B-12, which is mainly found in foods of animal origin. Those who have celiac disease are unable to absorb some nutrients in their food. Corrective vitamin administration can be beneficial to the health in these cases.
A vitamin prescription arrived at after a thorough battery of tests aimed at revealing the specific deficiencies that you suffer from can help, but in many cases, taking oral supplements tends to be affordable and effective. Vitamins taken by the oral route are digested and absorbed the same way as regular food. If you do have a serious vitamin deficiency or need to recover after an illness, however, making an appointment with a reputed vitamin IV therapy clinic can make sense.