Optimizing Nutrition Through IV Therapy
We are so excited that The UltraWellness Center has launched an IV therapy program! This program offers a variety of intravenous nutrients to support people on their path to optimal health. IV (intravenous) nutrients provides support for a wide spectrum of health problems from fatigue and stress to complex, chronic illnesses such as tick borne diseases, autoimmune diseases, mold exposure, and cancer. IV therapy is also a great option for those looking to focus on immune support, preventative care, and biohacking optimal health.
IV infusions and nutrient injections filled with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients can often be the turning point to spark a reversal of symptoms for those with chronic illness, or those looking to optimize their health and performance. From a functional nutrition perspective, there are several scenarios where these infusions have especially powerful benefits. Here are the three main conditions that we see people benefiting most from IV nutrition therapy.
- Malabsorption. This refers to the incomplete digestion/absorption of food in the small intestine. There are many potential causes of malabsorption such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), inflammatory bowel conditions including Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, celiac disease, and others. These conditions create the “double whammy” of nutrient depletion. Not only do they reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from what you eat and drink, they also increase your body’s need for nutrients. Therefore, sometimes it can be near impossible to get all of the nutrients you need from food alone. In certain cases, supplements may not be enough because the body cannot absorb them fully. We find it very helpful for some patients with these conditions to get IV therapy containing a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, as well as fluids to stay hydrated. At The UltraWellness Center, we offer UltraRecovery which is our version of the well-known Myer’s Cocktail and includes magnesium, calcium, the B-complex vitamins, and vitamin C. This is especially helpful for individuals that meet the above criteria.
- Detoxification imbalance. Both physicians and nutritionist can order DNA testing for our patients. One very common genetic variation we see is related to detoxification, specifically known as GSTM1 deletion. When someone has a deletion, it means their body is less able to produce and utilize glutathione. Glutathione is one of the body’s major antioxidants and it plays a key role in detoxification. Dr. Hyman explains in his blog that “the secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercuryand other heavy metals.” With this type of detoxification imbalance, it is common that we recommend a glutathione liposomal (under the tongue) supplement. However, it is difficult to absorb high doses of glutathione unless it is via IV. And even those who do not contain this deletion, we have found periodic glutathione IV therapy to be helpful for patients with higher toxic burdens such as those with elevated heavy metals, mold toxicity, and various chemical toxins so prevalent in our environment.
- Immune dysfunction. There is an epidemic of infections in our world today. Of all the possible infections, the ones we see most often and in alarmingly higher numbers include Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) and Lyme disease (as well as tick-borne co-infections). While treatment for acute Lyme disease is available through antibiotics, we are finding that most people who are infected with this disease were bit by a tick several months or years earlier. Not everyone gets the textbook bullseye rash or symptoms that would signal the bite, and some symptoms are delayed. For these individuals, the typical antibiotic therapy is still the standard of care, but it may not be enough to fully eradicate the infection. For both bacterial and viral infections like EBV, there is no one universal treatment. We recognize that in addition to treating these infections, our focus should be on supporting the immune system so that the infecting organisms are unable to cause harm to our system. Research has shown that symptomatic patients with elevated levels of EBV antibodies had reductions in EBV antibodies over time with IV vitamin C therapy. High doses of vitamin C have been found to reduce the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by infections, which limits the viral impact on the body. Vitamin C is also necessary for the function of immune cells known as neutrophils and is believed to stimulate the production of other anti-viral chemicals by the immune system. However, the amount of vitamin C needed to achieve this reduction of antibodies cannot be done through oral supplements because the gut would not be able to tolerate such high doses. It is at the high levels available through IV that have been linked to improved cellular immune function.
We have found personally, and by working with several patients, that IV vitamin C can provide partial or complete relief of symptoms associated with viral infections when other nutritional and prescription treatments have not. At The UltraWellness Center, additional vitamin C can be added to IV formulas to support the immune system.