The hottest new thing in the medical field is IV drip therapy, but this is more than just a fad. Intravenous administration has long been used in the medical field as an emergency treatment in hospitals. However, infusion centers have only recently become a popular way to receive treatment for some more common conditions.
IV drip therapy is a process by which patients are administered a “cocktail” of vitamins and other beneficial compounds through intravenous administration. The result is that patients will leave the infusion center feeling incredibly refreshed, thanks to the immediate boost from this high concentration of vitamins.
As opposed to vitamin pills, which are very rigid in their dosage, IV drip therapy can be customized to the unique needs of the patient and their condition. Medical professionals conducting IV drip therapy will design a custom treatment containing a specialized mixture of compounds that will effectively provide relief for several common ailments, from fatigue to the most brutal hangover.
However, some patients are still reluctant to try such a novel form of therapy. Under the guidance of trained medical professionals, this therapy can have numerous benefits for patients. The team at Drip Gym explains why IV drip therapy is something that patients should consider:
1. Dehydration and Electrolytes
“Our bodies are made up of 60% water, but we lose water through breathing, urination, perspiration, and physical exertion. High temperatures and alcohol consumption can also lead to dehydration,” explains Dr. Pervez Qureshi, leading physician of New York-based infusion center Drip Gym. “Administering an IV for dehydration is the quickest way to replenish lost fluids.”
Healthcare professionals have long used intravenous fluids to treat patients rapidly and avoid fainting in emergency room situations due to the immediate bioavailability of fluids and vitamins administered via IV. While it normally takes an hour to process a liter of water through an individual’s bloodstream, an IV allows the body to become replenished immediately.
Additionally, dehydration can cause a loss of electrolytes in the body. Vitamin infusions delivered via IV contain essential electrolytes like sodium and magnesium, as well as antioxidants that restore hydration like vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione. This makes IV vitamin infusions an effective way to restore hydration after vomiting and diarrhea, or simply to restore one’s health after prolonged periods of dehydration.
2. Meeting Nutritional Deficiencies
Many patients take vitamins to meet their nutritional deficiencies, but the unfortunate nature of orally-administered vitamins is that they have reduced bioavailability. When a vitamin pill is ingested, the enzymes in the digestive system will break down some of the vitamins and prevent the body from fully absorbing them. Only around half of the vitamins are absorbed by the body — the rest are excreted via urine.
“Administering an IV allows 100% bioavailability with immediate effect,” according to Dr. Qureshi. “An IV delivers nutrients and vitamins directly to your bloodstream through a vein, completely bypassing the gastrointestinal system.”
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies have been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. Meeting nutritional requirements can restore patients’ energy and optimize cellular function, leaving patients feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Key nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron — all common in cocktails delivered via IV drip therapy — help with chronic fatigue by delivering oxygen to the cells.
4. Boosting the Immune System
Several vitamins and antioxidants included in IV drip cocktails have also been associated with benefits to patients’ immune systems. Vitamin C, one of the most common vitamins administered via IV, helps our bodies fight off colds.
Free radicals are naturally-occurring molecules that can cause oxidative stress, but antioxidants like vitamin C protect the body from those free radicals. Moreover, certain antioxidants like vitamin C — and even some minerals like zinc — help protect the body against infection by strengthening the immune system.
“We usually have patients that come to us and have increased inflammation in their bodies without even knowing it,” Dr. Qureshi adds. “Vitamin C helps decrease the inflammation caused in their bodies.”
Another potential application of IV therapy is to contribute to recovery after prolonged stress or exertion. The stress caused by intense exercise and physical activity, such as that experienced by athletes, can cause substantial nutritional deficiencies. IV infusions for athletes or those who perform frequent high-intensity exercises can help to reduce tissue inflammation, shorten the recovery time after exercise, replenish essential nutrients, and improve the athlete’s overall performance.
Thanks to the variety of conditions it can treat, IV drip therapy is a popular new trend that is here to stay. Whether you want to feel more energetic or support your immune system, medical professionals practicing IV drip therapy can offer a custom-tailored solution that fits your medical needs.