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Everything you need to know 

What if you could cure a hangover, boost your immune system, fight lethargy, and get healthier skin all in one shot? That’s what vitamin IV drips promise.

The process works by providing the user with a direct infusion of vitamins and minerals, like high doses of vitamin C or magnesium. Receiving vitamins through an IV allegedly allows the nutrients to bypass the digestive system for a quicker shot of vitality. There are various different formulations of vitamins you can receive depending on your needs.

Fans of the treatment and the companies that offer the service believe it helps with a number of health complaints. As with most wellness fads, the benefits seem almost too good to be true. So what’s the bottom line? Does it work? Are there risks? Here’s what we found out.

What To Expect When Getting A Vitamin IV

Many companies across the country offer both in-person and at-home services. Some work out of RV type vehicles and travel to festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza. Typically, you can choose from a range of packages where select vitamins, amino acids and minerals are administered intravenously through a drip while you wait. The whole process takes about 45 minutes or so from start to finish.

You’ll have to fill out a health questionnaire asking you about previous surgeries or illnesses. Once you select your solution cocktail, you’ll be taken to an area with comfortable easy chairs where you can relax and put your feet up while a nurse practitioner prepares it.

If you are a little squeamish about needles in your veins, this might not be for you as it definitely involves a needle in your arm. But if you can get past the insertion you should be able to lie back and relax.

Most of us associate having an IV with being in a hospital or being unwell, so take a moment to remind yourself that this is just a hydration treatment and vitamin infusion. 

Proponents say that IV vitamin drips and shots can be used both proactively to maintain optimum wellness and to treat acute and chronic conditions. Customers from cities, like Las Vegas, or festival goers are more receptive to the idea of getting a shot or a vitamin IV to counter the effects of a “rough night out.”  Claims say the benefits of the treatment include increased energy, enhanced mood, mental clarity, improved sleep, decreased stress and anxiety, increased immunity, muscle recovery and hydration. For those with restrictive diets such as Vegans, there are some vitamins you can only get from animal products, therefore vegetarians and vegans need to supplement and this is one way to do it. Also, many people find it hard to maintain a truly balanced diet.  Proponents also claim that the effects of IV vitamin drips are cumulative. With a price tag of about $120 for one treatment, that adds up to an expensive way to get your vitamins. At that price, it’s certainly worth weighing up the evidence before making an investment because not all experts are on board.

According to medical and science experts, there are a number of conditions, including celiac disease, where a patient may benefit from a vitamin IV session because they are unable to absorb certain nutrients in the traditional way. However, for the vast majority of the general public who are eating a well balanced diet, your body does not need the extra vitamins. 

There’s also a chance your attempt at vitality through vitamin drips could backfire. Like all medical procedures, it does come with a few safety concerns. In 2018, model Kendall Jenner was reportedly hospitalized after she received a vitamin IV drip and had a bad reaction to it.

Certainly awareness about potentially overdosing on vitamins from a session is prudent.

It can also be dangerous, consider the life-threatening complications of Vitamin A overdose (if the solution contains that vitamin.) An excess of vitamin A can be toxic and cause nausea, liver damage or even death. Of course any IV treatment also carries a risk of bruising, infection and vein inflammation.  It’s vital you make sure the staff is experienced and fully trained.

What’s the bottom line?

An an IV full of vitamins and minerals may help to quickly revitalize and energize you if you are dehydrated from travel, physical exertion or too much imbibing. In a situation such as this, a IV vitamin infusion and hydration may get you feeling better quickly. However, it’s important to chat with your doctor before trying any health treatment. 

As for using it as a therapeutic treatment regimen, the jury is out on that one. For most of us, the quantities of vitamins and minerals needed for good health can be obtained by eating a healthy diet with a wide range of foods. Obtaining vitamins and minerals from your diet is much easier, cheaper, and safer. Unless you have a medically diagnosed reason for getting a vitamin infusion and it was prescribed by your doctor, you are always better off obtaining vitamins and minerals through food.

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