By Dr. Stefanie Trowell, ND
You may have heard talk in the coffee shop about the latest “drip”. And I am happy to be able to offer it at Darou Wellness!
Intravenous (IV) therapy (aka. “nutrient drips”) has been rapidly growing in popularity and becoming much more mainstream. While IV has been used in complimentary cancer care to enhance health for many years, now people who are generally well are finding benefit from these treatments as well. It is no longer reserved for “sickness”. Some people are looking for an infusion of energy, while others seek protection from the flu virus. IV therapy is safe, effective and restorative – the perfect health cocktail for today’s busy life.
While we all aim to get our nutrients from the foods that we eat, sometimes this is not possible with deadlines to meet and less than ideal food options. IV therapy is the process of giving vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the body via the bloodstream by accessing a vein in the arm with a small needle. It delivers therapeutic doses of nutrients directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system to allow for a greater concentration of nutrients to reach the tissues than can be achieved with oral supplementation. The higher nutrient levels promote cellular function, optimize metabolism and support healing from within the cells.
Curious, but nervous about what is involved?
First, Dr. Trowell takes a short health history and discusses your specific concerns to create an IV treatment plan just for you. During this time she explains the process and any contraindications you may have to receiving an IV. (Occasionally, an individual may have an allergy to a nutrient and therefore should not receive infusions containing that nutrient. In addition, kidney or heart disease or high blood pressure may prevent the use of some IV treatments.) The majority of people can tolerate most IV nutrient drips.
There are a couple blood tests that are required before initiating IV therapy and these are: CBC, eGFR and creatinine. If you are receiving an IV with high-dose vitamin C, you will also require glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) testing. Those with G6PD deficiencies cannot metabolize high levels of IV Vitamin C, which is why we test it prior to giving higher doses. With these blood tests, IV therapy is very safe and well tolerated. This can be done in collaboration with your MD or through Darou Wellness for a small fee.
Does it hurt?!
Most people report very little pain. When the small needle is withdrawn, a soft catheter remains in place for the remainder of the treatment. Depending on the infusion, you may experience an increase in energy or a relaxing effect. I often have patients report a sense of calm during the IV and a good sleep that night.
The length of treatment depends on the IV formula being infused. The shortest IV is the Quickie that takes about 20-30 minutes. Most of our formulas (including Energy IV) take between 30 and 60 minutes, except for the High-Dose Vitamin C IVs that may take 1 to 3 hours.
My 3 Favourite IV Treatments:
1. High-dose Vitamin C
I love this evidence-based intervention for cancer care. It’s safe and effective – and is actually the reason that I became certified to provide IV medicine. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown in research to be toxic to cancer cells while leaving healthy cells undamaged. Plus, IV Vitamin C has been shown to improve the quality of life in breast cancer patients, as well as other types of cancers – even those with poor prognosis. The earlier the IV drips were started, the better the patient response!
2. Energy IV
If you see me looking longingly at your IV bag, it’s likely you are getting this one! Jam packed with energy boosting vitamins and minerals – this formula builds you up as it gets your metabolism going. I described it to my father like this: “It’s like a tune up for your car. Changes your oil and tunes up your engine so that you leave feeling like you’re driving a performance race car. Nothing but smooth roads and wind in your hair!” The name of the formula pretty much says it all. Want an extra boost? Talk to us about adding a Glutathione boost. Adios flat and tired, hello youthful, glowing woman (or man)!
3. Immune IV
Bolster your first line of defense this flu season! This IV supports your body’s immune system to improve your resiliency against infections and minimize sick days. Feeling run down and vulnerable? Already got the sniffles? This IV bag has nutrients that actually stimulate your immune system as well as provide the resources your body demands during acute illness. It’s like ultimate defense package – boosting morale and delivering resources all in one!
At Darou Wellness, we have a dedicated IV room that is welcoming and peaceful. You may read, listen to music, take a nap or work on your computer. There are comfortable chairs or a sofa to lounge on, but you may also get up and use the rest room when necessary. It is best to drink lots of water and eat before having an IV – but if you forget, we have some water, tea and snacks available for you as well.
I hope you enjoyed the descriptions of my 3 favourite IV drips! The first treatments at Darou Wellness have been a hit (or so they tell me!) and I would be happy to answer all your questions about IV therapy or if a “drip” is right for you.
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