From immunity to energy, IV therapy provides an accessible wellness tool that can increase hydration and supply nutrients to patients.
Elisabeth Waters willingly has been stuck with a needle for the past four years.
Waters, 67, a client at Sarasota IV Lounge, works out a lot, so she turns to IV therapy to help rehydrate and replenish missing nutrients.
She switches between the Spa Treatment, which is mix of three drips with nutrients that “promote healthy skin, hair, nails and teeth” and the SRQ Signature blend, which is “a mega dose of vitamins, antioxidants, hydration and mitochondrial support.”
“I feel good,” she said. “I have more energy. It’s much easier than taking all the pills.”
IV therapy is a trending wellness tool many are using to rehydrate and restock their bodies with nutrients or vitamins they might be lacking.
“IV therapy is rehydrating the body through intravenous administration, and basically, most people are walking around dehydrated,” said Stephanie Conyers, a registered nurse who works at Hydr8 Wellness Center.
Conyers said treatment at the Hydr8 center is based on the client’s medical history. She also said they educate patients on how to prevent dehydration.
Over at the Sarasota IV Lounge, Arielle Bennett, the director of clinicals, said prevention is also a key teaching component.
Sarasota IV Lounge and DaSilva Institute owner Tina DaSilva’s late husband, Guy, started IV therapy for his patients in 2007. In 2014, the therapy was opened to all. The Sarasota IV Lounge is a functional medical practice, and Bennett said their first goal is to get to the root cause of disease, so they teach clients how to live a better lifestyle.
“The IV therapy is certainly a good fix for now or a way to reduce symptoms and help you get on in life, but the important thing is to ask why you got here in the first place,” Bennett said.
Bennett said there are a number of reasons why people could be lacking nutrients, including food supply and gastrointestinal issues. DaSilva said the IV bypasses GI tracts, giving patients 100% absorption of nutrients and immediate benefits.
“The beauty of IV therapy is first of all, we can use higher doses of nutrients because when taking a supplement by mouth, it has to go through gastrointestinal system and often times may cause inflammation or diarrhea or discomfort,” Bennett said.
While some people use IV therapy as a hangover cure, it can be used to help patients with serious medical conditions. Patients at the Sarasota IV Lounge range from athletes to those who just want to be healthier. Occasionally, the lounge will get patients who are fighting more serious illnesses, such as cancer or multiple sclerosis.
When clients comes in, they talk with a nurse, who then makes recommendations on which fluids would be best, Bennett said.
Conyers said the IVs at Hydr8, which is staffed with trained professionals including registered nurses and paramedics, can include high doses of vitamins B and C, as well as antioxidants.
IV drips generally range from $100 to $225, and take 45 minutes to an hour to administer.
While both lounges are staffed with trained medical professionals, two doctors approach IV therapy with caution.
Dr. Reuben Holland, medical director of the freestanding emergency department and urgent care centers for the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, said to counteract any nutrients that might get lost as a vitamin is absorbed, people can take more of an oral vitamin.
“As long as a person can drink fluids, I’m really not sure how necessary or appropriate it is to start an IV,” Holland said.
Dr. Elizabeth Guancial, a medical oncologist for Florida Cancer Specialists, said IV fluids are important to hematology and oncology patients, but patients shouldn’t treat IV therapy as risk-free. Any time skin is punctured, there’s concern for infection, Guancial and Holland said.
In the end, Guancial said keeping open communication with a primary physician is important.