Although intravenous (IV) nutrition therapy is not a new form of treatment, many people are unaware of its benefits as a primary or adjunctive therapy for several medical problems. If you are interested in alternative or complementary treatments, IV nutrition can give you an extra boost.
Nutrition After Bariatric Surgery
Most forms of bariatric surgery rely on creating a smaller stomach and/or creating a nutrient deficit by bypassing part of the small intestines to help you lose weight. In addition to the decrease in calories, there is also a decrease in your intake of nutrients and absorption after surgery. Supplements become vital to your overall health after bariatric surgery to compensate for lost nutrients.
IV nutrients can be used for acute or long-term maintenance of nutrition levels. In the weeks following bariatric surgery, you may feel tired as your body recovers from the procedure and adapts to nutrient changes. Additionally, you may have trouble taking supplements because they can make you feel full quickly or even queasy, due to a drastically smaller stomach.
Since IV nutrients bypass your stomach, you can minimize some of the initial side effects of bariatric surgery, such as fatigue or hair loss, until you can comfortably take oral supplements. In rare cases, IV nutrition can be vital for people who experience substantial nutrient deficits after bariatric surgery or continue to lose weight, even after reaching a healthy weight.
Managing Chronic Illnesses
Many chronic illnesses, both physical and mental, have fatigue as a prominent symptom. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases and severe depression are among the most common chronic illnesses that may benefit from treatment with IV nutrients. IV nutrition will not change the course of an underlying illness, but can potentially make fatigue and other symptoms less impactful on your daily life.
The Myers Cocktail is a notable form of IV nutrition used as an alternative treatment for the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. It is also used in conjunction with standard fibromyalgia treatments. One of the components of the Myers Cocktail are B vitamins. In addition to helping improve fibromyalgia pain in some people, B vitamins are also known for improving energy and metabolism.
The medications used for the treatment of some chronic illnesses and the illness itself can make you more prone to various forms of anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia and megaloblastic anemia are among the forms of anemia that are often seen in people with chronic diseases. In addition to fatigue, you may experience mouth sores, numbness or sensitivity to cold. If you are a woman and have heavy menstrual periods combined with a chronic illness, you are at an increased risk for developing anemia. IV nutrients may help offset some of the effects of anemia, especially when anemia is an ongoing problem.
Rebounding From Acute Illnesses
Whether you are suffering from a bacterial infection, seasonal flu or the common cold, making sure your nutrient intake is sufficient can help you get back to normal faster. Some people choose to use IV nutrition as a method of boosting their immune system if they suffer from frequent colds or are immunocompromised. One of the advantages of having nutrients intravenously is their quick delivery and rapid onset.
Although many supplements used to help boost the immune system or lessen the duration of a cold may be helpful, they can take longer to work because they have to pass through the digestive system. Due to the process of digestion, oral supplements may be partially destroyed by digestive enzymes, making it difficult to know how much you actually absorb. IV nutrients are not affected by digestive enzymes, which improves dosing consistency.
IV nutrition is an ideal treatment for many conditions because it can quickly correct nutrient deficiencies and be used in conjunction with standard treatments. Since therapy only requires infusion of nutrients, it is no more risky than your standard IV infusion or blood draw.
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