By Lauren Keating
Yellow droplets flow downward in a steady rhythm into a thin tube, then directly into my arm. Next comes a coolness rushing through the bloodstream, refreshing and replenishing the body. After an IV Hydration Therapy treatment, the effects are subtle. But expect to feel rejuvenated.
IV Hydration Therapy is a medical treatment that uses a small needle to administer fluids, vitamins, and minerals directly into your bloodstream. Like going to a spa, patients can sit back, relax, and work on self-care while reaping the health benefits - including increased well-being —thanks to replenished electrolytes and essential vitamins and minerals for optimal body function.
“There is an increased awareness of the health benefits of Intravenous (IV) hydration therapy infusions,” said Dr. Tijo Thomas, owner of south New Jersey-based medical clinic Alternativ Total Wellness, which distributes the IV treatment to many a diverse clientèle.
He says IV Therapy’s rise in popularity is a combination of reduced cost of service and the increase of IV drip “bars.”
“This is where modern health care is going,” said Dr. Thomas. Besides med spas, there are mobile options for home IV drips administered by certified doctors and nurses.
How Is IV Therapy Effective?
“The good thing about IV Hydration Therapy is that, unlike oral vitamins, it completely bypasses your gut,” said Dr. Thomas. As a result, there is rapid and direct cellular absorption. “It depends on the integrity of your gut. But the absorption rate of vitamin C is about 60 percent or less orally, and IV is close to 100 percent,” he explained. The same is true for the absorption rate of other vitamins, making IV infusions appealing for post-COVID patients and those looking to boost immunity. IV treatment blends are subjective to a patient’s wants and needs. They include options like the popular Myers Cocktail, a “gold-standard” for preventing and treating illness - offered at various places, including Alternativ Total Wellness.
Named after Dr. John Myers, who developed and administered the first IV vitamin treatments in the 1970s, the infusion features vitamins and minerals, Dr. Thomas said: “are essential for energy production.”
They include magnesium for muscle function and nervous system health, B3 and B5 for DNA synthesis, B1, B2, B6, B12, and calcium gluconate. “The Myers Cocktail is popular for people because they use it for post-viral illness and symptoms,” said Dr. Thomas, who also serves as an assistant program director for critical care medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in New Jersey. “The immunity portion—the vitamin C—helps boost your immune system to help fight infection. Post-viral illness patients might feel fatigued or haven’t been able to eat or drink anything, so hydration therapy is a great way to replenish hydration status and add any vitamins that you lost,” he explained.
Another highly requested concoction, according to Dr. Thomas, is the ‘hangover cure’ IV - a quick fix from a night of alcohol consumption that often leaves a person feeling dehydrated.
IV therapy, however, is not solely for the night owls; it’s also become a popular choice for chemotherapy patients looking to beat fatigue and other side effects of their cancer treatment.
A typical infusion treatment takes about 30 minutes to administer, but IV hydration for chemo patients is said to last an hour or more, depending on the dose of vitamin C, which needs to be administered slowly because of potency. After an IV infusion, some patients feel effects immediately if they are in tune with their bodies. Dr. Thomas says vitamins and minerals are absorbed and stay in the body depending on kidney and liver function and how depleted a patient is in those vitamins - up to 24 hours before excretion.
“With IV hydration alone, you should feel better, but a lot of times, the effects can be subtle,” he said. “It depends on a patient’s lifestyle, if they are active, and their diet.”
IV Therapy treatment has benefits for anyone willing to give it a try. Dr. Thomas explained that women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms get treatments with magnesium and calcium, “which helps with the spasms of the uterus,” along with Toradol to decrease nausea and pain. Pregnant patients also benefit from an infusion to combat morning sickness and struggle with keeping food and drink down to stay hydrated.
As for Dr. Thomas’ athletic patients, “People that are active and play sports, like dancers—those patients I advocate for the performance sports option because it contains ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid), which helps with muscle growth and recovery” – adding how patients reported a decrease in delayed onset muscle fatigue - common among those competing in marathons.
To help with cognitive function and anti-aging, Dr. Thomas offers Neuro-Centric IV Hydration Therapy to increase attention span and support brain health. “ALA (Alpha-lipoic acid) is vital for brain function and memory, so it can be used for cognitive purposes - especially for people with high-functioning jobs who want to stay on top of their game,” he said.
So, how often should someone receive IV hydration treatments?
Dr. Thomas states this depends on what a patient comes in for.
For Chemo patients, he suggests weekly sessions - once a month or every so often for athletes and other health and wellness lovers.
IV Hydration is a safe way to absorb essential vitamins and minerals without side effects. At the very least, it will leave a patient with a full bladder and a slightly sore arm. Still, the therapy is worth experiencing to prevent disease and encourage general cellular health.
To learn more visit https://alternativtw.com/