You may have heard about revelers in Las Vegas trying an IV bag for a hangover cure. That might sound extreme, but for some, IV Nutrient Therapy is a way to stay healthy and feel younger...faster!
"Which arm did we use the last time?” asked Heather McMillan – an R.N. who’s been administering IVs for 24 years.
“I think the right,” said her patient, 50-year-old Nancy Recchia.
Recchia is a dentist-turned-stay-at-home-Mom from Rochester Hills who started monthly IV Nutrient Therapy a year ago in November. Now she goes twice a month for treatment.
"I used to take lots of vitamins, regular pills. Sometimes that would upset my stomach,” explained Recchia.
Now she bypasses her gut entirely by taking her vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients directly into her bloodstream via an IV drip.
"I have more energy,” she said. “I wake up. I hop out of bed!"
Recchia said she now exercises regularly, gets better sleep, and sees a more youthful glow in her skin.
When we caught up with her on Oct. 26, she was taking an hour-long IV Nutrient Therapy at Cutler Integrative Medicine in Bingham Farms.
“Every patient [we see], we go over their medical history. We look at their symptoms. And then based on the nutrients, we can tailor it to their symptoms,” explained Dr. Doug Cutler -- a Naturopathic Physician (N.D.) who practices individualized therapy.
He specializes in integrative medicine with expertise in chemical and toxic metal syndromes, autoimmune issues, disease prevention, food allergies, hormonal imbalances, weight loss, and more.
At Cutler’s clinic, new patients must provide blood work and a comprehensive metabolic profile from the last six months.
“We do look at blood work just to make sure the kidney is functioning well and the liver. And if those are working good, most patients can benefit,” he explained.
A registered nurse prepares the IV bag in a ductless chemical workstation to ensure that the nutrients are not contaminated.
"When we mix more than three nutrients together, we have to do it in a sterile environment fully draped,” explained Heather McMillan, R.N.
Depending on how many nutrients in your individualized plan, an IV can take one-to-four hours to be administered.
Recchia has tried a variety of therapies at the clinic.
When we met her, she was having the “Fountain of Youth Mini”– which the clinic promotes will help prevent aging and beautify skin, hair, and nails from the inside out.
The infusion includes 250 milliliters of ascorbic acid, B-complex, biotin, calcium, dexpanthenol, magnesium, pyridoxine, selenium, sodium bicarbonate, and zinc.
The names of other IV therapies give you an idea of what they promote: Better Than Coffee, Chill Out, Complete Detox, Cutler Guarantee, Einstein E=mc2, Feel Good, Immune Fortress, Super Athlete, Weight Loss, etc.
There are dozens of different nutrient combinations available.
Some of the goals include increasing energy, improving sleep, boosting immune function, helping to prevent illness, and enhancing mood. Some of the treatments also aim to decrease the effects of stress, improve your overall quality of life, and even recover cellular homeostasis!
So, what kind of price tag are we talking about?
These therapies are not cheap.
Prices range from $95.00 to $495.00 a treatment.
But Nancy Recchia considers it an investment in her health – a preventive measure.
“If I could be hooked on this thing all day long, I would be running around the house,” she said with a chuckle.
For those who don’t have time for an IV -- or the budget to afford it-- there’s the Intramuscular – or IM—injection.
It offers a smaller, more concentrated nutrient dosage via a quick shot.
A registered nurse typically administers it directly into the buttocks. Prices range from $35.00 to $95.00 a pop.
I paid for the $55.00 IM injection called the Slim Shot -- with B-Complex, Carnitine, Methylcobalamin (B12), MIC (Methionine, Inositol, Choline), & Procaine (an anesthetic that takes the “sting” out of certain IMs).
It was quick and easy, and – seriously -- I felt like the energizer bunny for the rest of the day! My husband and friends even noticed a skip in my step.
But by the next day, I felt like my normal self again. So, it wasn’t a long-lasting boost.
If you’re squeamish about needles, this is probably not the therapy for you. You may want to stick with taking your vitamins and supplements orally.
Granted, the benefits of oral vitamins and other supplements are arguably not as noticeable as IV Nutrient Therapy or IM injections. But the pills are certainly more affordable.
Whether you choose an oral remedy or an IV/IM option, what your body does not need or absorb will be released in your urine. That's natural.
Bottom line -- before you try any new therapy, you should always consult with your primary care physician to see if the treatment is right for you.
The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated IV Nutrient Therapy or IM Therapy. Cutler Integrative Medicine discloses that these products and services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
If you do want to try this therapy out for yourself, you need to be your own advocate and ask questions.
Make sure the clinic runs a sterile operation with registered nurses and qualified staff who request your full blood work. A formal consultation with that information about your liver and kidney function should be set up before ever starting any IV Nutrient treatment.
For those who have the time and the money and don’t mind the poke of a needle, there are more than a half a dozen clinics in metro Detroit offering this service.
Here are some clinics in metro Detroit that provide IV Nutrient Therapy: