By Brianne Fitzgerald, Family and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Recoverymattersma.org
The idea of intravenous vitamin therapy became popular in 2012 with raves coming from Hollywood celebrities like Rihanna and Adele. How is that the idea of being stuck with a needle in an unregulated walk-in clinic and run by for profit companies has been turned into a wellness must for those with disposable incomes? These clinics boast everything from a cure for jetlag and hangovers, to healthier skin, improving your immune system and sex life. Why are so many Americans seeking chemical answers for distress? Is your life here in the richest country in the world becoming more stressful nd traumatic? How is it that people from other countries are desperate to come to the US for prosperity, safety security and some sense of orderliness. We have so many things at our fingertips while people elsewhere struggle to survive from childhood on.
Could our overall access and ease itself be the reason we have become so self-absorbed in the disappointments, and everyday annoyances that we must chemically sedate ourselves in such a way that we do not have to feel anything unpleasant….and yet those unpleasant feeling keep creeping in. We are not happy, we have taken things for granted and we cannot tolerate any distress hence this new scam to alleviate our sense of aloneness. Have we absolved ourselves of taking responsibility for anything we are dissatisfied with and handed it over to the like of the Kardashians to help us find peace?
How is it that we who have all the best foods in the world at our disposal think that we need to go to one of these drip bars for IV vitamin therapy?
The risks associated with such enterprises are not minor. Inserting a needle into a vein can cause inflammation, infection and blood clots. Potassium infusions can impact cardiac function. Excessive levels of vitamins can be hard on the organs and should be avoided. Fluid overload can affect electrolyte balance and damage kidney, brain and heart. Do you even know what is being infused other than what the nurse is telling you?
If you choose to go to one of these IV therapy clinics find out who is the medical director and is and is, he or she on site. Are the people at the clinic taking a full medical history? Do they ask you what outside medications are you taking including over the counter medications, alcohol/and other drugs and dietary supplements? Talk with your primary care provider before you try a drip bar. There are very few studies that have tested the effectiveness of IV vitamin therapies. There is no published evidence to date. There may, however, be a placebo effect in receiving this type of therapy. Is it such that the more money I spend the better I feel? The cost is high, and insurance does not cover these treatments. This type of therapy is NOT risk free and I would like to suggest that we exercise and eat nutrionously in order to improve health. The bigger question is how have we become a nation of people living in a chemical haze?