Intravenous (IV) infusion therapy is a safe and powerful treatment modality that provides intravenous (into the vein) administration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into the bloodstream.
Under healthy conditions, nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and reach cells following the digestive process in the GI system. If your digestive or immune system is not functioning properly, as can occur with many medical conditions, it can become more difficult for the cells throughout the body to obtain the nutrients they need to maintain optimal health.
Intravenous injection allows your body to quickly achieve blood concentrations of nutrients that are unobtainable through oral or even intramuscular injections. Many people with chronic conditions have impaired gut function (leaky gut) and possible digestion issues that prevent them from absorbing adequate amounts of these nutrients. Given intravenously, the body is able to quickly utilize the nutrients for immediate improvement in the function of the cells.
IV nutrition therapy has been safely used for decades to treat patients with chronic health conditions including chronic fatigue, depression, cardiovascular problems, migraines, and fibromyalgia. Healthy individuals also utilize IV therapy to help enhance their overall health, boost energy levels, improve mood, and prevent illness.
Numerous IV infusions are available and the combination of nutrient infusions can be tailored to address your specific health care needs. Dr. Ruan and his team can create a targeted IV nutrition protocol that will provide the precise nutrients required to help your body naturally heal from within using specialized micronutrient testing. Rather than getting a superficial glimpse at the vitamins and minerals that are in the bloodstream, this test takes a deeper look inside the cells to get a more accurate picture of how your body is using the nutrients. By identifying and treating the true deficiencies, we can optimize your health more effectively and efficiently.
The next few sections describes the more common IV nutrition protocols offered at the Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine. However, our aim is to personalize the infusion to the needs of the individual using the micronutrient testing as a guide. Therefore, the following list is merely a sample of what we offer.
Vitamin C is beneficial in many different ways. A few of the benefits are that it increases collagen production (which is important to maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, and skin), aides in the absorption of iron when taken orally, helps with cholesterol control, helps improve adrenal gland function which leads to improved energy, and can shorten the duration of viral illnesses.
So why give it in an IV? Under normal conditions, your GI system can only absorb and use a limited amount of vitamin C per day. The rest escapes through the urine. The IV route bypasses the GI tract, enabling the body to take in the higher doses necessary to help fight certain problems such as fatigue, infections, and even cancer (when used in conjunction with cancer therapies) effectively.
IV vitamin C has been shown to help boost the immune system, combat free radicals, improve the appearance of skin, strengthen cardiovascular health, and even actively help the body fight off viral infections such as the flu or the common cold.
Laboratory studies have shown that higher doses turn IV vitamin C into a pro-oxidant which may be able to slow the growth of cancerous cells (prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, etc.). This protocol can be used in conjunction with traditional treatment like chemotherapy and radiation. Some studies have also shown that concurrent IV vitamin C infusions at these doses can make chemotherapy more effective and help improve treatment related side effects. However, each person can have different effects with this treatment. Furthermore, the levels of some classes of chemotherapeutic medications can be affected as well.
Glutathione is your body's master antioxidant and is found in high concentrations in the brain and liver. It plays a critical role in the body's detoxification process, ridding the body of toxins and free radicals. Glutathione also activates the immune system, plays a role in DNA synthesis, and helps control inflammation levels.
Glutathione is particularly useful for conditions associated with aging. Natural aging leads to a depletion of this important detoxifying agent. Glutathione infusions can provide vital support for individuals with:
Many people with chronic diseases are depleted of this important antioxidant. There is no outside food source for glutathione, we rely solely on the body to produce it. When you have chronic inflammation, which is the main underlying cause of most chronic diseases, you use more glutathione than your body can make. This causes a supply and demand issue. IV glutathione infusions can quickly help you get your stores back up to a functional level and improve your health.
The Myers' Cocktail--pioneered by John Myers, MD--is a nutrient-boosting solution that includes a combination of magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C. The Myer's Cocktail has been used since the 1970s to address a wide range of conditions, including:
Myers’ cocktail infusion can also be used in healthy patients to help boosts one’s mental and physical health and increase energy levels. B vitamins are key factors in regulating healthy nerve and brain function. It is this direct effect on the nervous system that makes this cocktail useful for irritability, depression, anxiety, and stress management.
Let’s face it, our environment is toxic. We encounter toxic metals on a daily basis, and over time they accumulate and are stored in the tissues and fat cells. This can cause problems with almost every system in the body, namely, issues with the nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system, and hormone regulation. Potential troublesome metals include mercury, lead, aluminum, and arsenic.
The most common symptoms that suggest a high heavy metal burden are chronic fatigue, “brain fog” or difficulty concentrating, any autoimmune condition, and issues with depression or anxiety.
Chelation is a process by which toxic heavy metals can be removed from the blood. The chelator agent is chosen based on the offending metal. Intravenous DMPS or EDTA is given with a provocation test before and after that measures heavy metal burden in the urine. It is difficult to know the exact degree of toxicity in the body, and by doing this test you can get an idea of long term exposure as well as monitor response to therapy with repeated doses.
This is a relatively safe therapy with many benefits. Studies on chelation therapy with EDTA specifically are showing improvements in heart disease related to decreased plaque formation inside the arteries, decreased inflammation, and improved cholesterol control. Chelation therapy can also reduce damage caused by free radicals, reduce long-term effects from radiation therapy, decrease pain and overall inflammation, and improve cognitive functioning.
When you receive IV therapy, an IV line with a very small needle is placed into either your hand or arm. The treatment may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the protocol that is recommended. The IV drip is virtually painless, and once it is in, you can sit back and relax until the infusion is completed. Most people leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and enjoy the benefits for some time after treatment. Depending upon your unique health needs, Dr. Ruan will recommend future IV therapy sessions. Some vitamin infusions require multiple treatments to feel the full benefits, this can be directly related to how depleted you are.
At the Texas Center for Lifestyle Medicine, we are committed to helping you feel your best. Whether you struggle with a specific health concern or seek to protect your overall health and wellness, intravenous therapies are a powerful, natural remedy to add to your arsenal of treatment options.