Some formulas claim to cure anxiety, depression, or chronic headaches while also enhancing your skin and providing anti-aging effects, all costing anywhere from $165 to $900 per bag.
You don’t need a medical prescription, and you don’t need a blood test beforehandoften, all you need is a consultation with a naturopathic doctor and a feeling that it would assist with whatever ails you (1✔ ✔Trusted Source
Controversies in fluid therapy: Type, dose and toxicity
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The IV Lounge at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre in the city’s Yorkville neighborhood opened almost ten years ago, but more and more retail venues like this are cropping up.
The emphasis at Formula Fig, a spa-style establishment with vibrant millennial-green furnishings and facilities in Toronto and Vancouver, is on 30-minute facials and beauty treatments, but you can also have an IV drip ($165) while resting beneath an LED therapy light.
“Drips are no longer a trendthey may be here for good,” says naturopathic doctor Amauri Caversan, who founded the IV Lounge. “At first, they were mainly used by athletes, stars, and wealthy patients. But today I would say IV therapy has become a lot more mainstream.”
IV therapy comprising saline and electrolytes might help you rehydrate after excessive alcohol consumption or strenuous activity. And, especially in an age of COVID, many patients seek IV nutrition only for the extremely unscientific promises of “boosting” or “supporting” their immune systems.
“These therapies are aimed at amorphous ailments people have: fatigue, general malaise, lack of energy,” says Timothy Caulfield, author of The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness. It’s very subjective, he points out. “There’s this idea that getting an IV drip is going to help your immune system, and there’s no evidence to support that.” Caulfield, a health and science policy professor at the University of Alberta.
IV Therapy: Promises, Pseudoscience, and Potential Risks
“The claims around IV nutrition are certainly pseudoscientific,” agrees Michelle Cohen, a family doctor in Brighton, Ont. and an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. She writes and tweets about wellness trends and has a particular interest in debunking alternative health claims. “There’s this idea that you can get better nutrition through an IV than simply through your gut, which is the way we were designed, or evolved, to absorb nutrition,” Cohen says. “Your average person does not need to have an IV to get adequate nutrition.”
The risks of IV therapy shouldn’t be ignored either, says Cohen. “You may have an allergic reaction to whatever it is that you’re being injected with, and it’s not necessarily the synthetic vitamins, but maybe some preservative product in the mix. You also don’t know if the treatment is going to conflict with any medication that you might already be on,” she adds.
Can you go Overboard with These Vitamins?
Cohen explains, “Not exactly. At some point, the excess water-soluble vitamins in these IV drips become saturated and cannot be effectively absorbed by your blood. Since the kidneys continuously filter your blood and eliminate substances that are not needed, a large portion of the mega-dose of vitamins administered through IV therapy will be excreted from your body.”
- Controversies in fluid therapy: Type, dose and toxicity – (https:pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24834399/)