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IV NUTRIENT THERAPY

Intravenous Nutrients

Intravenous Nutrient Therapy

The purpose of IV nutrient therapy is very simple – to bypass the digestive system to allow more rapid and effective absorption of nutrients directly from the bloodstream. IV nutrient therapy can enhance absorption immensely (up to 100%) and can quickly restore nutrients in the body to therapeutic levels required to heal and restore the body.

In North America, many people have become affected by poor diets as well as having compromised digestive systems leading to poor nutrient absorption. At the same time, demanding lifestyles, lack of exercise, inadequate rest and lack of balance, have led to an ever-increasing requirement for high-quality nutrition. We struggle to keep up with the demands of a modern western society and our bodies are taking a beating. In addition, as a consequence of modern agricultural practices, severe soil depletion which has stripped off significant nutrients from the soil has led to poor food quality. As it turns out, the quantity, as well as the quality of nutrients we get from our food, has diminished drastically.

At the very least, achieving required minimum concentration of nutrients is vital to ensure prevention of illness via nutrient deficiencies. Remember that minimum is not optimal, and our bodies often need much higher levels than minimum levels to function at its best. In order to thrive, we need to raise the bar and try to achieve the highest cellular efficiency by supplying a much higher concentration of nutrients than minimum levels. Moreover, nutrients are used nowadays not only in the prevention of disease but also in the treatment of certain diseases. An example of this is Magnesium, which is commonly used in nutrient IV regimens. Magnesium ions promote relaxation of both vascular and bronchial smooth muscle – effects that might be useful in the acute treatment of vasospastic angina and bronchial asthma, respectively (1,2). Asthma, migraines, depression, cardiovascular disease, seasonal allergies and numerous other conditions have all shown to benefit from IV nutrient therapy.

When it comes to cellular nutrient concentrations, delivery is key. IV nutrients have been shown to exert pharmacological effects, which are in many cases dependent on the concentration of the nutrient. For example, an antiviral effect of vitamin C has been demonstrated at a concentration of 10- 15 mg/dL, (3) a level achievable with IV but not oral therapy. Consider the following comparisons as a % of peak plasma concentrations of some oral Vitamin C doses compared to a single 3g IV dose of Vitamin C:


200mg ORAL dose, an amount obtained from Vitamin C–rich foods (5%)

Single 1.25g ORAL dose of Vitamin C (11%)

Single 3g ORAL dose of Vitamin C (12%)

Single 3g IV dose of Vitamin C (100%)


Although the body tends to excrete a large amount of the vitamin C over time, the transiently elevated concentrations would likely confer a therapeutic action that would be unlikely to achieve with oral doses. Administration via intravenous route is a fantastic way to ensure that nutrients are being absorbed by our cells in large enough therapeutic quantities required for optimal function!

The Benefits of Intravenous Nutritional Therapies

Is there even a need for IV nutrients? After all, a healthy gut can absorb all the nutrients we need from food. Yes, but also wait a minute… How many people can say they have a 100% healthy functioning gut, especially in our demanding western society? Digestive disorders ranging from IBS to IBD and digestive issues from heartburn to diarrhea are extremely common nowadays and they certainly impact the amount of nutrition we absorb through food.

Secondly, assuming we have a “healthy gut”, are we giving ourselves opportunities to absorb nutrients through proper nutritional choices? For most people, this is not the case. Sound nutritional knowledge is commonly offset by misinformation and the majority of people are caught up in the convenience and hyperpalatabilty of unhealthy foods.

To add to that, busy lifestyles, constant stress, and overwork are some reasons why food is likely not enough to fulfill our extra nutritional needs. As mentioned earlier, most commercial food has a lower nutrient quality which doesn’t help either. There is very little downside to providing your body with some extra nutrients and IV therapy is a great way to administer therapeutic levels of high-quality bioavailable nutrients. In short, there are not many people that wouldn’t benefit from these treatments – healthy gut or not!

And then there are people that are dealing with health conditions. Correcting nutritional imbalances, improving cell and organ system function, treating using therapeutic nutrients and supporting healing processes, are some of the ways that IV nutrient therapy can benefit patients that are dealing with health conditions. Depending on the contents of the IV infusion, a trained naturopathic doctor can use IV treatments to benefit the following conditions:

  • Immune Deficiencies

  • Viral illnesses

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Asthma

  • Respiratory Infections

  • Depression

  • Lyme disease

  • Mold Exposure

  • Immune Deficiencies

  • Viral illnesses

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Asthma

  • Chronic Urticaria (hives)

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • Dementia

  • Anxiety

As a standalone treatment, IV nutrients can greatly improve health outcomes and have been used for a long time with great success. The use of nutrients to treat health conditions is now being studied as part of the field of orthomolecular medicine.


If you are dealing with a health condition, nutritional IVs can likely offer benefit. There a number of specially formulated IVs that benefit specific conditions such as those listed above. Please CONTACT the naturopathic doctor to see if you have a health condition that would benefit from IV nutrient therapy.

There are a number of general wellness IVs offered at the clinic. To see some of the more popular treatments, please CLICK HERE

Side Effects

Intravenous nutrient therapy is a relatively safe treatment but like all IV procedures there can be some risks:

  • Bruising (minor)
  • Skin rash/itching
  • Skin redness/heat
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Breathing changes
  • Visual changes
  • Nervousness
  • Allergic reactions such as hives, and eye swelling

*The above side effects are rare and usually don’t last beyond the duration of the treatment. Any side effects that persist are addressed promptly by the naturopathic doctor.

**The clinic staff is trained in emergency procedures in case of any emergency situations that may arise.

Contraindications

ABSOLUTE contraindications

  • Kidney insufficiency or failure
  • Advanced Heart disease or failure
  • Compromised output of urine
  • Very high blood pressure
  • Severe liver disease
  • Allergy to ingredients used
  • Dialysis patients

RELATIVE contraindications

Please speak with your medical doctor for clearance to do any IV treatments if you have any of the following:

  • Moderately high blood pressure
  • G6PD deficiency (ruled out by blood test)
  • Bleeding disorders or taking blood thinning medications
  • Severe anxiety of medical procedure
  • Patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes
  • Inflammation or infection at the insertion site
  • Other serious medical condition

Frequently Asked Questions


  • How can I prepare for my treatment?
  • How long will my treatment take?
  • How will I feel after the treatment?
  • How often should I receive intravenous nutrients?
  • How much do the treatments cost?
  • Does insurance cover IV treatments?
How can I prepare for my treatment?
  • All new patients must book a brief IV consultation appointment with the naturopathic doctor to review pertinent health history, to determine an appropriate treatment plan as well as to assess any safety and health concerns.
  • Please arrange for your naturopathic doctor to receive all required bloodwork before your appointment date.
  • Please wear clothing that is comfortable and will allow access to your arms above your elbow.
  • Hydrate before every IV. The more hydrated you are, the more easily accessible your veins are, making for a more comfortable treatment.
  • Please have something to eat prior to your treatment. Some of the vitamins and minerals can have a temporary blood sugar, and blood pressure lowering effect, which can make you feel light-headed during or after your IV if you haven’t eaten.
  • Avoid some over-counter medications. Please try to avoid the use of anti-histamine or decongestant drugs 24 hours prior to your IV treatment. These medications have a constricting action on blood vessels, which can make your treatment more challenging. The use of Advil or aspirin can increase bruising *
  • Bring a book, computer, or some music with you to stay occupied during the treatment. We recommend complete relaxation and maybe meditation.
  • Arrive early to your appointment. Give yourself enough time to arrive so you can get comfortable and relaxed prior to your treatment. This will make your experience more enjoyable and effective.
How long will my treatment take?
  • The length of treatment depends on the nutrient mix and concentration being infused. “Pushes,” are smaller quantities of fluid administered slowly via syringe. These take about 20 minutes. “Drips,” like some of the wellness IVs usually take anywhere from 30 min to  1 hour. Sometimes a customized IV treatment may take longer.
  • Although you will be sitting most of the time, you may get up and use the restroom, if necessary.
  • Sometimes you may need a few minutes of recuperation time after your treatment (ex: if you feel slightly lightheaded) but mostly you may leave the office immediately as soon as the IV has been administered.
How will I feel after the treatment?
  • For most people, an increase in energy, mental alertness and overall sense of wellbeing can be felt immediately following their IV treatment. These effects may be subtle, or may not be noticed until the next day or days following treatment. You may require several IV treatments before you begin to experience a benefit.
  • For some, the body requires time to clear out stored metabolic wastes and you may experience some mild fatigue, headache, nausea or lightheadedness following the IV treatment. This is especially common after your first few IV treatments.
  • You may return to your daily activities as before, including exercise following your IV treatment. It is important to continue to stay hydrated.
How often should I receive intravenous nutrients?
  • If you are receiving IV nutrients for a specific health condition, typically the naturopathic doctor will come up with an individualized treatment plan including the number and frequency of treatments
  • Wellness IVs also require a treatment plan by the ND but typically the frequency and number of treatments are more flexible. For example, you may come in for treatments more frequently if you come under severe stress, feel you are coming down with something or are preparing for a sports event
  • Some patients even ultimately end up on a maintenance dose after their originally planned sessions are completed
How much do the treatments cost?
  • Total cost of IV nutrient therapy varies depending on the specific protocol as well as the number of treatments recommended.
  • Standard nutrient IV mixtures range from $135 to $170 per treatment. There are add-ons available for each bag that range from $25 to $40 per add-on.
  • IV regimens are also customized based on individual needs and preferences and the cost would vary accordingly.
  • There is a one-time consultation fee for IV therapy that is charged to the patient at the very first visit. Our clinic charges $65 for this consult, which typically lasts 30 minutes.
Does insurance cover IV treatments?
  • IV Nutritional Therapy qualifies for compensation under several Extended Health Benefits as a Naturopathic Service
  • Direct Billing is available at the clinic for many Extended Health Insurance Plans
  • The initial evaluation appointment is also reimbursable by insurance carriers depending on your policy

References

  • Teragawa H, Kato M, Yamagata T, Matsuura H, Kajiyama G. The preventive effect of magnesium on coronary spasm in patients with vasospastic angina. Chest. 2000;118(6):1690-5.
  • Song WJ, Chang YS. Magnesium sulfate for acute asthma in adults: a systematic literature review. Asia Pac Allergy. 2012;2(1):76-85.
  • Harakeh S, Jariwalla RJ, Pauling L. Suppression of human immunodeficiency virus replication by ascorbate in chronically and acutely infected cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1990;87(18):7245-9.
  • Gaby AR. Intravenous nutrient therapy: the “Myers’ cocktail”. Altern Med Rev. 2002;7(5):389-403.
  • Padayatty SJ, Sun H, Wang Y, et al. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(7):533-7.

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