According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as many as 80% of Americans don’t hit the recommended daily target for fruit and vegetable consumption. Based on this, it’s no surprise that a majority of us also suffer from a nutrient deficiency. An adequate intake of vitamins and minerals gives us energy, fuels our metabolism, and strengthens our immune system. The Orchidia Medical Group in Naples, Florida offers IV vitamin therapies for health-conscious individuals seeking optimal wellness.
What Are IV Vitamin Therapies?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that roughly 60% of the population suffers from at least one chronic disease, including heart disease and diabetes. Many of these conditions are preventable with the right dietary and lifestyle interventions. Unfortunately, very few Americans consume a nutritious, well-balanced diet, nor do they engage in regular physical activity, as recommended by health experts.
As a result, we experience nutrient deficiencies and imbalances that leave us weak, tired, and more susceptible to illness—a situation that can be corrected with IV vitamin therapies.
We like to refer to this treatment as a nutrient express. These are infusions of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are administered directly into a vein. You can choose from a variety of nutrient cocktails based on your individual needs. The treatment lasts between 30 and 60 minutes and is performed in our office, where a board-certified doctor will monitor for reactions.
Who Is This Treatment Intended for?
IV vitamin therapies appeal to a wide range of patients, from athletes looking to rehydrate and recover after a bout of intense exercise, to those with medical issues that prevent adequate absorption of vitamins and minerals from food. Most, however, seek out this treatment for an immune system boost.
Americans are increasingly interested in natural ways to enhance their immunity, and rightly so. Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? Yet, more and more of us are being diagnosed with gastrointestinal disorders, such as celiac disease, small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, gastritis, chronic pancreatitis, and ulcerative colitis.
These conditions can lead to inflammation of the gut and an inability to properly absorb crucial vitamins and minerals. Patients with these conditions are often found to have various nutrient deficiencies, some quite severe. IV vitamin therapies are one of the best ways to correct this situation.
Can’t I Get What I Need From My Diet?
In a perfect world, perhaps. The reality is that today’s food supply has been adulterated and is much less nutrient-rich than in the past. Due to the heavy use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, our soil has been largely depleted of important nutrients. This explains some of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies that government studies have revealed.
According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHNES), a majority of Americans are deficient in vitamins D, E, and K, as well as choline and the minerals potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are involved in immune function, energy production, and heart health, among many other processes. Since many of these nutrients must work together to perform their duties properly, a deficiency in just one of them can disrupt that synergy. The effects may not be noticeable right away, but the implications for your long-term health can be serious.
It’s also important to note the difference between recommended minimums and the amount of a nutrient needed for optimal wellness. For example, guidelines for daily vitamin C intake advise 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. While this amount may be enough to prevent scurvy, studies show that a higher dose can shorten the duration and severity of upper respiratory infections. IV vitamin therapies allow for the delivery of a much more potent and beneficial dose.
What Causes Nutrient Deficiencies?
Although the average American takes in 3,600 calories each day, more than half of that is in the form of processed foods. Today’s Western diet is high in sugar, fat, and sodium. Add to this a variety of preservatives, artificial colors, chemical dyes, and other food additives, and it’s not so surprising that most Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease.
Restrictive diets are more popular than ever: ketogenic, paleolithic, plant-based. What do these diets have in common? Each of them eliminates at least one entire food group. While these diets have some value in terms of weight management and may address certain health issues, there’s no denying that they are imbalanced and, therefore, may create deficiencies. Individuals with disordered eating habits commonly present with nutrient deficiencies and can benefit from vitamin infusions.
Some processed foods are fortified with synthetic forms of vitamins and minerals after processing, but these are in a form that is of little use to the body. One of the advantages of IV vitamin therapies is that the nutrients are delivered in a way that the body prefers and can utilize.
Gut Health Issues
Most of the meat and dairy products sold in supermarkets come from animals that were kept in confinement on factory farms and given antibiotics and other drugs. These toxins make their way into the food supply and end up in our microbiome, where they disrupt the balance between good and bad bacteria. Studies show that Americans are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever, and this has also been shown to contribute to gut issues.
The majority of Americans are taking at least one prescription medication. Many of these drugs are known to hinder or interfere with the absorption of nutrients. If you’ve been prescribed and are taking a prescription drug, you may be lacking key vitamins and minerals. Some over-the-counter pain relievers and heartburn drugs can have similar effects. IV vitamin therapies can help.
How Do I Know If I Have a Nutrient Deficiency?
Symptoms of nutrient deficiency can vary by individual but may include fatigue, thinning hair, forgetfulness, bleeding gums, and rapid heartbeat. If your nutrient deficiency stems from a gastrointestinal disorder, you might experience bloating, gas, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the appearance of your stool. Consider these early warning signs and be proactive about addressing the root cause.
Older adults tend to have lower caloric intakes and are particularly prone to nutrient deficiencies. Symptoms among this population may include a loss of appetite and frail or weak bones. Elderly individuals also tend to be on at least one or two prescription medicines. Many of these can interfere with the digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Does IV Vitamin Therapy Really Work?
There’s a reason why this treatment is so popular—because it works! Intravenous, or drip, delivery of vitamins and minerals has been in use since at least the 1970s and is used each day in hospitals all over the world.
Many patients feel an immediate energy boost and experience a renewed sense of vitality after just one treatment. However, the benefits are cumulative, and we recommend continuing with infusions once or twice each week.
What Are the Potential Benefits?
While a few of our patients book IV vitamin therapies simply to relax, others report impressive health benefits following treatment. Some of these include:
The B vitamin complex—and vitamin B12 in particular—is heavily involved in the body’s production of energy. These vitamins help to turn the food we eat into a form that can fuel our bodies. As there is no plant source for vitamin B12, vegetarians and vegans are especially prone to deficiency.
We include glutathione in some of our cocktails. This is considered the body’s master antioxidant. By increasing levels of detoxifying enzymes in the liver, glutathione helps the body remove heavy metals, including lead, mercury, and some of the other contaminants that make their way into the food we eat.
Vitamin C is a proven immune-booster. This vitamin superstar helps the body produce white blood cells, which fight off bacterial and viral infections, as well as other pathogens. We don’t produce vitamin C, so we must obtain it through diet or supplementation. Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means we don’t store it, and it needs to be replenished for optimal immune function.
Electrolytes are minerals—sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium—that help to regulate fluid balance in the body. These are lost through sweat and are flushed out with urination. A day at the beach or a night of partying can have the same effect. If not replenished, an electrolyte deficiency can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps.
Some deficiencies can starve certain regions of the brain of the nutrients they need for optimal cognitive function and alertness. Low levels of B vitamins are known to lead to memory issues and brain fog.
Low levels of certain vitamins are associated with depression and other mood disorders. Having too little B12, for example, can make it harder to withstand emotional and psychological stress.
Healthier Skin, Hair, and Nails
B vitamins—and biotin specifically—help to deliver blood to these areas. This aids growth and strengthens the hair and nails. It also speeds up the turnover of skin cells to reveal a healthier, younger-looking appearance.
I Already Take Vitamins: How Is This Different?
It’s not what you take that matters most—it’s what you absorb. When you swallow vitamins in the form of a pill, tablet, or capsule, they need to be broken down and metabolized before they enter the bloodstream. The absorption rate with oral delivery can be as low as 20%, particularly if you’re one of the increasing number of Americans who suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder.
We call it a nutrient express for a reason. These vitamins, minerals, and amino acids bypass the digestive process, allowing for rapid and complete absorption into the bloodstream. This gives you more bang for your buck and may even be able to replace some of those bottles of pills in your cabinet.
How Can I Find Out More?
A balanced diet and consistent exercise program should form the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. In our fast-paced, modern lives, however, a self-care routine isn’t always our top priority. Work stress, financial stress, relationship stress—they all take a toll and eventually impact our physical health.
Our patients are health-conscious and try to make the best choices, but sometimes we all need a health booster. That’s where IV vitamin therapies can help. We offer several different options, each focusing on a unique aspect of your health. We can also customize a cocktail based on your individual needs.
Our team can discuss the options and design the best treatment plan for your goals. Call or visit Orchidia Medical Group in Naples, Florida today to schedule a consultation.