A Beginner’s Guide To IV Infusions
A Beginner’s Guide To IV Infusions

A Beginner’s Guide To IV Infusions

Increasingly popular as part of a modern-day wellness regime, IV infusions are considered a solution to everything from jet lag and hangovers to post-marathon soreness. Here’s everything you need to know.
By Georgia Day

How do IV infusions work?

For most people the idea of willingly being hooked up to an IV drip may seem strange, given that they’re usually associated with hospitals and medical settings. But, says Dr Aggie Zatonska, founder and medical director of Atelier: Art of Aesthetics, the pandemic has accelerated a health-first mindset in many people. “People now, more than ever, are feeling they want to take a more ‘preventative’ individualised approach and find out what their own healthy baseline measures look like before they enter a ‘disease’ state,” she explains. “Many people also now seeking not only to prevent or treat diseases, but also to optimise their health and maximise their well-being.” Fitting perfectly into the wellness trend that has and continues to dominate (wellness is now a $5.6 trillion global industry), IVs look set to become just as popular as cold-water swimming and supplements. “By bypassing the digestive system, IV infusions ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness, making them ideal for individuals seeking to optimize their health and wellbeing,” says Dr Aggie.

Why are IV infusions so popular?

While single IVs are available that contain one vitamin or mineral, the beauty of IV infusions is that they can be custom formulated depending on specific deficiencies and requirements, whether that’s immune system support, extra hydration or boosted energy levels. “A typical IV drip consists of a saline solution base, which can be supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants according to individual needs,” says Yasmeen Alsumait, nutritionist and life coach. “The most used IV drip is the Myers Cocktail, which includes a mix of vitamins B, C, magnesium, and calcium.” And given the convenience of them it’s no wonder that those who lead particularly demanding lifestyles are gravitating towards them more and more. “The fast-paced lifestyle of many individuals leads them to seek immediate solutions for energy boosts, recovery from hangovers, or even jet lag alleviation, which IV drips promise to provide,” adds Yasmeen. With every trend though, comes a caveat and in this case it’s unscrupulous marketing practises. “Certain IV lounges selling ‘hangover cure’ as a quick fix or ‘IV-Drip Diet’ as a weight loss method send a dangerous message and unfortunately it has damaged the IV therapy profile,” says aesthetic doctor, Dr Pam Benito.

Who can benefit from IV infusions?

Although IVs are being used more as additions to wellness routines, it’s important to remember that they have their origins in the medical industry. “Some drugs cannot be taken orally because they lose their effectiveness when exposed to your digestive system,” explains Dr Pam. “Infusion therapy is an alternative when there is no comparable oral therapy or when you are unable to take oral medication. An IV infusion can [also] help with several health issues and conditions, including malnutrition, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, pain relief, wound healing, and treatment after surgery.”

What are commonly used IV infusion blends?

Aside from the Myers cocktail, commonly used ingredients include vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc. “NAD+ infusions have become very popular in recent years as they are believed to increase not only energy levels and repair DNA, but also protect brain cells from damage, reduce inflammation and have anti-aging results,” adds Dr Pam. “Also, intravenous glutathione is an incredibly powerful antioxidant. Research has shown that it reduces oxidative stress and, with high doses of glutathione and vitamin C, improves hyperpigmentation and the skin texture and appearance giving the skin a glow!”

The beauty of IV infusions is that they can be CUSTOM FORMULATED DEPENDING ON SPECIFIC DEFICIENCIES & REQUIREMENTS, whether that's immune system support, extra hydration or boosted energy levels.

What are the downsides of IV infusions?

As with any medical procedure it’s important to ensure any treatment is carried out by a registered healthcare professional. This is to avoid any complications or infections but also to make sure any potential risk factors such as allergies or sensitivities are taken into consideration. “As with any injection [that require cannula insertion] it’s essential to acknowledge potential complications that may arise,” says Dr Aggie. “There is always a small risk of infection, bruising, redness or itching and pain at the site of injection.” And although it’s just vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers associated with IVs. “Inappropriate intravenous fluid therapy is a significant cause of patient morbidity and mortality and may result from either incorrect volume (too much or too little) or incorrect type of fluid,” says Dr Pam. “Too much IV fluid in your system can result in hypervolemia, also known as fluid overload, especially if you have other underlying conditions. You can experience swelling, discomfort, and other symptoms. Untreated hypervolemia can cause severe complications, including heart failure.”

Who should avoid IV infusions?

“IVs contain a lot of salt, which could have a negative effect on people with heart disease or high blood pressure,” says Dr Pam. “If practitioners don't pay careful attention to the infusion rate, they can knock a patient's electrolyte balance out or overload their fluid levels, potentially causing swelling of the brain, heart failure or kidney damage.”

How regularly can you have IV infusions?

Although they might feel like a tempting quick fix, anyone thinking of having one needs to exercise caution. “The frequency of IV drips should be based on individual health needs. In a normal, healthy wellbeing routine [they] should be used sparingly, as a complement to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle rather than a replacement for good nutrition and hydration habits,” says Yasmeen. “I usually only go for IV drips a couple of times a year, and that's when I'm really feeling under the weather. I make sure to do it with a doctor's guidance, just to help my body bounce back and rehydrate.” While daily use is rare and would only be necessary for in a clinical setting for specific health conditions, most people find occasional use after a specific event is enough. “In cases of acute deficiencies or conditions that require more aggressive management, a healthcare provider might recommend weekly sessions for a short period,” advises Dr Aggie. ‘While some may benefit from monthly sessions, particularly if they are using IV drips to manage chronic conditions, such as migraines or chronic fatigue, under a doctor's guidance.”

Visit Atelier.Clinic, HealthyLivingByYasmeen.com & DrPamelaBenito.com 

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily