Elite athletes may sometimes use IV vitamin therapy to reap rehydration benefits quickly. Still, the procedure is also believed to cure headaches, pain, and the effects of drinking too much alcohol. But it can’t fix all ills, so it’s important to know what it can or can’t do.
What Is IV Vitamin Therapy?
IV vitamin therapy refers to a procedure whereby an intravenous catheter is inserted into your arm or hand, and medicine, vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients are dispensed into your bloodstream. Some people receive IV therapy because of a medical need, while others seek faster absorption of vitamins into their system than what would be expected of taking vitamins orally. While vitamins are delivered intravenously, the exact delivery mechanism is available for ketamine therapy.
Who Benefits The Most?
IV vitamin therapy is used in many circumstances. Some athletes are known to use it following a grueling sport or event to replenish low levels of vitamin D. This may be helpful for rehydration, building muscles, strengthening bones, and potentially reducing the risk of inflammation.
IV vitamin therapy may also help reduce symptoms related to:
- Osteoporosis “causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.”
- Asthma is a condition where someone’s airways get inflamed, narrow, and swollen and create extra mucus, making it hard to breathe.
- Migraines are a severe kind of headache of differing intensity, often paired with nausea and sensitivity to sound and light.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is “a serious, long-term illness that affects many-body systems. Another name for it is myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.”
- Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition resulting in pain over your body, fatigue, and other indicators. Someone with fibromyalgia can be more pain-sensitive than someone who doesn’t have it. This is referred to as abnormal pain perception processing.
- Allergies happen as your immune system responds to a foreign substance — like pollen, bee venom, pet dander — or a food that doesn’t trigger a reaction in most others.
- Sinus and respiratory tract infections.
Does IV Vitamin Therapy Work?
Dispensing vitamins and minerals intravenously, rather than through fruits, vegetables, or oral supplements, allows nutrients to be absorbed much quicker by the body and other means of delivery.
According to ongoing studies, there is some evidence that IV vitamin therapy is beneficial. Many hospitals, medical centers, and medical professionals offer such therapy and ketamine. The Mayo Clinic, for instance, describes the procedure as targeted “for administering medication or nutrition. Infusion therapy reduces medical expenses and decreases time spent in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.”
According to a clinical trial currently underway, IV vitamin infusion therapy means inserting an IV line into your vein (generally in your arm) to dispense a high concentration of antioxidants, amino acids, liquid vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream. The therapy may only comprise one vitamin or a mixture of nutrients.
A quick infusion of nutrients has apparent benefits in certain situations and for certain patients, particularly some undergoing kidney disease or cancer treatment. The idea behind IV vitamin therapy is that dispensing specially formulated cocktails of nutrients via an IV can help replenish, fix, and cleanse your body faster than drinking water or eating healthy, for instance.
Possible side effects
The threat of infection is concerning. In one study, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said infection “was the most common side-effect but rarely required in-patient treatment.” Other side effects may include itchiness or redness at the spot of needle insertion.
What Are The Alternatives?
Ketamine therapy is primarily delivered intravenously and offers similar benefits to specific health conditions as IV vitamin therapy. But there are other ways to get more vitamins into your system.
The most popular method, of course, is to eat healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals. This includes:
- Nonfat and low-fat dairy
- Dairy substitutes
- Dark, leafy greens
- Whole-grain foods
- Black beans
Your healthcare provider may suggest exercise as another way to replenish vitamins in your body (vitamin B2, thiamin, and riboflavin).
More research is needed to say whether there’s value in IV vitamin therapy, but it’s worth asking your healthcare provider about its pros and cons and if it’s right for you. People with certain health conditions may benefit, but arming yourself with knowledge will help you make the right choices.