By Mitchell Ghen, D.O., Ph.D.
This article is part two of a two-part essay on intravenous nutrition. Let’s start with the most important concept, All IVs are not created equal. There is a tremendous variation that can occur from one intravenous nutrition treatment to another. This depends on many factors which include where the practitioner got their nutrients, which nutrients were placed into the bag, which fluid was used to dilute the nutrients, the type of tubing that allows the nutrients to be delivered into the patient, the correct combination of nutrients (since many products are not compatible), the speed in which the mixture was given, and the correct combination of nutrients that are specific for your condition. If you think that’s complex.. your right! And like any medication that you’re given you want to make sure that what you’re receiving is not only safe but it ensures efficacy for your specific condition. So this article will be a primer so you make good choices when deciding which physician you’ll allow to place nutrients inside your body. We will review several important questions that you should be asking prior to allowing anyone to become invasive. For example, anyone that would propose giving an IV that would be tailored for you would require a history and physical and a certain amount of blood diagnostic studies. It just makes good sense for many reasons. One making sure that you’re getting the right nutrients for your condition, making sure that they don’t give you something that may be harmful or even dangerous. Just because something is labeled a vitamin or mineral and it does have a much larger safety margin doesn’t mean that individually or in combination with other nutrients it doesn’t have potential harmful effects. Everyone of our cells in the human body require certain levels of nutrients to perform properly. When an overabundance of one specific nutrient in absence of another occurs, a similar situation is created equivalent to a disease entity. Basically, the wrong nutrients for your body can make you sick. IV nutrients need to be made in a sterile environment, with the different components at room temperature. IV nutrient bag should never be made prior to your visit to the clinic, because the pH and energy of the nutrients, alone could leach dangerous phthalates from the plastic bag holding the liquid Material. Material in the bag should have no precipitates and the Ph (acid-base balance), too high or too low. If either of these parameters are inappropriate it could mean that the solution could cause a inflammation of your vein or even worse. A precipitate introduced into a patient can act like an embolism and could cause either a stroke or heart attack. Therefore, always make sure the solution is totally clear without any material in it. The nutrient formula prepared for you should be done under the most sterile circumstances, that means both the mixing of the bag and the placement of the catheter into your vein. And also make sure that the person who has made your bag and the one that puts in your IV, holds an active R.N. License in your state. No one and I mean no one should give you an I.V. without a Physician, PA or Nurse Practitioner, first reviewing your lab work and adapting the IV to your specific needs.
In intravenous nutrition speed is not your friend and the real truth about IV nutrition is that, the slower you give a solution, the more likely it is to have a positive effect on you. Doctors often offer a fast IV like a Myers cocktail which was the only type of IV we had years ago. That old formula has been replaced with much better and superior types of intravenous combinations that can help many disease entities in so many different ways.
Summary of what you should look and ask for BEFORE and AFTER you let someone give you an IV.
• Ask the healthcare practioner where they where trained and by whom.
• How many IVs have they given.
• Did a doctor review an extensive group of lab tests on you before they decided what IV to give you.
• Are there RN’s mixing and giving you your IV
• Are you scheduled for follow up labs, reviews and IV changes.
• Are you feeling better within 30 days of starting your IV therapy. If not, be reevaluated perhaps the wrong nutrients are in your formula.
• If you get chills, pains, aches, shortness of breath, chest pain, blurry vision, inflammation anywhere, fevers, calf pains or simply don’t feel well after your IV; stop the treatments and get evaluated and proper treatment to correct the problem.
• Was you IV made when you arrived? If not, don’t take it.
• Is the IV clear and have no pieces in It. If not, don’t take it.
• And don’t be stupid, taking an IV after a workout, or when your hung over without appropriate labs is a recipe for the wrong IV and some serious side effects.
• Does your IV bag have a label on it that clearly states your name, concentration and volume of the solution, date and time of initiation of this IV, expiration date of the solution, the lot numbers if applicable and the prescribed rate of administration.
• The rate of administration should be no more than four ML’s per minute; the typical connector tubing delivers one drop per second which under normal circumstances yields 4 ml per second. Not sure, ask questions.
• Is the IV protected from light wrapped in aluminum foil or a dark color bag? If not, the common ingredient Vitamin C losses potency very quickly. Why pay for something your not getting.
• And IV that’s running properly at the correct rate should be comfortable with little or no pain. Painful area at the IV site requires immediate attention.
• If you have coronary artery disease, kidney disease, high Oxalic acid, heart failure or liver disease your IV may have to be adjusted significantly.
As I stated in the first part of the series IV nutrition hold so much promise for helping people reach their optimal health. However, with investing time in making sure the above rules are in effect you will be assured the best chance for getting a great result and being safe. As I said all IV’s are not created equal. anyone can just throw some nutrients in a bag, the real challenge is to make the solution perfect for the patient. At the end of the day it should be only about one person and their health… you!
Dr. Mitchell Ghen
The Doctor’s Doctor
to Physicians Worldwide
561. 508. 3095