We all know the small voice in our heads that screams “take cover!” when a co-worker comes to work sniffling or your child returns from school feverish. There are the people who appear to be resilient and never fall vulnerable to viruses and then there are those of us who seem know its only a matter of time before the virus catches us. For the later group, have you ever heard of intravenous therapy because it may be your Trojan horse!
How is IV therapy different than taking vitamins?
Intravenous therapy is a method of delivering high doses of vitamins and minerals directly into the blood stream in order to bypass the gastrointestinal system. This is particularly important for the administration of vitamin C as there is a limitation to the amount of vitamin C that can be absorbed from the intestines at one time. If you ingest a higher amount than tolerable it will serve as an osmotic laxative and lead to transient diarrhea.
This poses two issues:
- It is difficult and inconvenient to take a dose of vitamin C hourly in order to achieve (potentially) adequate vitamin C levels to support the immune system
- Levels of vitamin C shown to be effective at overcoming more aggressive viral infections (such as Epstein Barr virus, Herpes simplex Virus and the ever-strengthening flu virus) is impossible to achieve via oral dosing.
How is IV therapy different than taking an Advil or Tylenol?
There are numerous other effective naturopathic interventions to boost the immune system, which I will save for another article, but by far the most efficient and immediate relief would be achieved via IV therapy. Typically viruses are self-limiting which means they will self-resolve with time and without treatment (if they do not lead to other pathologies). However, in today’s society we rarely allow our body’s to rest and recover fully before immersing ourselves in the demands of daily life and not to mention re-exposure to other bacteria and viruses! We commonly resort to Advil and Tylenol to suppress our symptoms and “get through the day”. This does not provide any support to your immune system to win the battle against the virus.
The mechanism of treating an infection with high dose nutrients via IV therapy involves supporting your endogenous immune system to help your white blood cells overcome the virus in a shorter amount of time and also prevent a possible opportunistic bacterial infection from developing, which can be seen commonly with respiratory infections leading to pneumonia for example.
IV therapy can safely be combined with conventional treatments such as Advil and Tylenol; however, by combing treatments you are not simply suppressing symptoms but also helping your body overcome and build resilience to falling vulnerable to another virus.
What vitamins and minerals are contained in the IV bag?
Not only do we provide a high dose of Vitamin C which may provide added energy, antioxidant protection as well as support to your immune system to fight the infection, but we also include B vitamins to support energy and focus as well as HCL (hydrochloric acid) which serves to improve white blood cell production.
Depending on the virus being treated, contents will vary in order to be as individualized to your symptoms as well as the virus you are fighting.
Haven’t received IV therapy? What to expect on your first visit.
Your first visit will involve a pre-screening to assess for safety of treatment and to determine your individual treatment plan. An in-depth look at your health history, medications, supplements and allergies as well as indicated physical exams will be completed to tailor treatment optimally. This will take 15-30 minutes. Subsequent IV treatments will be between 30-60 minutes in length. While receiving treatment feel free to bring a favourite book, an iPad to watch a show or your laptop to get some work off your to-do list!
We require 4 days prior to your appointment in order to place an order to the compounding pharmacy (so best to order when you start to feel a flu starting!) or we can order the bag “rush” which would be an additional $20.00 for next day treatment.
Oral dosing of Vitamin C is absorbed in the small intestine. On contrary to popular belief, taking the time-released vitamin C formulas are not necessarily as effective since only a percentage of the vitamin C supplement will be released within the small intestine for absorption where the remainder may only be released in the large intestine where it will not be as well absorbed into the blood stream.
Stay tuned for more articles explaining how IV therapy can aid in recovery from other viral infections including but not limited to:
- Post-herpetic neuralgia
- Mono (Epstein Barr Virus)