There’s a new health trend and more and more people are starting to do it… We tell you all you need to know about intravenous infusions.
We’ve seen celebs hooking themselves up to IV drips in reality shows, but this new health trend seems to be more and more popular. You can now view your local celebs promoting it on Instagram and you may even have people in your office or a friend who regularly heads out to their local therapy spot to get this ‘vitamin drip’. But what is it exactly and why’s everyone doing it?
Why the need for an intravenous infusion?
Due to breakdown in the gut, the body can only absorb about 20% of oral supplements. However, an intravenous injection or infusion (IV) allows for medicine to be sent directly into your vein using a needle or a tube. This way, when you put vitamins into your body, it’s able to absorb 100% of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids as they’re delivered straight into your blood stream.
We chatted to Dr Fatima Bhabha from beautyncurves to learn more about these vitamin drips that seem to be all the rage at the moment. Their aesthetics practice offers a wide variety of treatments, including IV infusions.
What is an intravenous infusion?
Intravenous (IV) therapy or infusion therapy is a method of feeding vitamins, minerals and antioxidants directly into the bloodstream to correct intracellular nutrient deficiencies, which can aid a number of health concerns. There are different drips to choose from, based on your health and body needs.
What happens is, a thin plastic tube called an IV catheter is inserted into your vein. The catheter allows your healthcare provider to give you more than one safe dose of medication without having to poke you with a needle each time.
What are the benefits of intravenous drips?
IV therapy works by introducing nutrient-rich medication straight into your bloodstream, which creates higher blood levels than when you take the medication orally. The result is that a substantial concentration gradient is formed outside the cells, which allows nutrients to pass through easier and start optimising cellular function.
When your body is fighting an infection it requires a higher level of nutrients to help fight the infection and the high concentration gradient of IV therapy helps with this.
Here are a few of the conditions that can be treated using IV nutrition techniques:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Common cold
Is it safe?
Not only are intravenous supplements safe, they’re applied easily and are beneficial. At Beauty & Curves the infusion is put up and monitored by a trained, registered nurse. There are also doctors available on site for assistance.
What can I expect when going for an intravenous infusion?
Receiving an IV infusion is actually quite comfortable! A nurse will administer the solution directly into your vein while you recline in a comfortable chair. It is a minimally invasive treatment and most people have no problems with it at all. A very small ‘butterfly’ needle or a micro-catheter is used to infuse the prescribed supplements. The treatment usually lasts 60 minutes and there is no downtime. Most people find the whole process relaxing and feel noticeably better by the end of the session.
What are the side effects?
There’s a low risk of serious adverse side effects, which may include a slight after-taste of supplements shortly after the infusion. Urine may also have a strong odour or colour shortly after completion. Some patients may also experience a sensation of warmth and flushing or feel a cooling sensation as the IV is administered
Is it for me?
Anybody can reap the benefits of intravenous infusion, however it does work best in cases of a cold or flu when administered at the first signs of illness. You can book a consultant at most practices where the doctor will make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the procedure. The first thing they’ll do is evaluate your risks and evaluate which conditions you have that need to be treated. They will then guide you in deciding which IV infusion will suit you best.