IV Nutrient Therapy for Use in Aging and Age-Related Illness and Disease
A full-day preconference track at the upcoming Clinical Applications for Age Management Medicine Conference will explore the benefits, indications and parameters for using IV nutrient therapy. It will cover evidence basis, basic pharmacology of selected IV nutrients, common clinical uses of IV nutrients and clinical case examples. The purpose of the instruction is to provide an overview of the topic with an eye to safety and efficacy of this modality in practice. Though anyone registered for the Thursday preconference may attend as many or as few sessions as they like, the track will essentially be a self-contained course in IV nutrient therapy, with a training certificate available upon completion.
Most of the track's sessions will be presented by Paul N. Anderson, N.M.D. and Dan Carter, N.D., who between them have about 50 years experience in IV infusions. Dr. Anderson told us why IV nutrient therapy is his preference.
"The important thing about why you would do it—there’s two parts to the answer: safety and efficacy. As far as safety goes, between Dr. Carter and myself we've been in medicine about 80 or 90 years, and what we’ve found over the years is not only can it be done very safely—we follow all the guidelines for cleanliness and compounding which would be used in any infusion center—but it’s safer to infuse any drug formula than to use any other method."
Dr. Anderson continued, "The efficacy goes to the whole rest of what we’re talking about, and that has evolved over time. While you have the same or similar nutrients as in an oral dose, pharmacologically you cannot achieve the same outcome orally. It’s similar to if you have a patient in an infective crisis, you normally give them an IV of the anti-infective drug and then follow up with the oral drug. For example, let's say somebody needs a higher dose than normal of magnesium or vitamin C. The digestive system limits absorption; IV is a better way of getting a loading dose of any nutrient."
Dr. Anderson says when he and Dr. Carter became involved in IV therapy about 25 years ago, it was very limited, to hydration and nutrient replacement. "Over 25 years there's been a lot more research, and a lot more clinical practice," he says. "The main reason to do it is, a lot of people have trouble absorbing nutrients in the quantities required for all those healing processes than we would imagine medically. The IV nutrient therapy is almost like a preload to get things started."
The range of conditions for which IV nutrient therapy is used is almost limitless, says Dr. Anderson. "The common areas where we see it most used on the preventive end are before and after surgical and cosmetic and other age management procedures, so that the body has all of the nutrient cofactors needed to do those procedures. Then in the spectrum of treatment areas, another large grouping of high use areas would be any neurological or eye chronic illnesses, Parkinson’s, macular degeneration...IV nutrient therapy can be a really key part of any treatment program. Others are chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lyme complex, as part of a larger treatment program."
"I think the way the curriculum is laid out goes in a nice progression," says Dr. Anderson. "Dr. Carter and I are going to launch into safety and efficacy, lab testing before doing, how labs can relate back to the need for and alteration of treatments, how you turn it into a treatment plan, that’s the cornerstone. We'll do a safety talk—there are factors you have to take into account, and IV nutrient therapy within its guidelines is acceptably safe. The next portion is more procedural, the actual technical parts: how do you set it up, compound it, maintain sterility—all the things that comprise the foundation and safety considerations. The next portions we’re going to do talk about the clinical background and pharmacology of the individual nutrients and why you would include them in a formula—the why of any nutrients you would use."
Dr. Anderson continues, "The last two sessions Dr. Carter and I are going to do are based on feedback from thousands of doctors we’ve worked with over the years. Almost every complication with IV nutrient therapy is entirely preventable. We'll talk about, if one does happen, here are the most common reasons and common interventions."
"Then," he says, "we'll cover formulas and case studies. We chose the most common nutrient formulas that would relate to an age management practice. Those are the general vitamin mineral formulas and the custom hydration formulas. Custom hydration sounds like an odd thing, but they are becoming more and more popular and are commonly used after procedures. I've had to use them after an orthopedic procedure; they're very common after laser surgery. And there are individual things like glutathion—it's burned up very quickly when someone is either healing or in a regenerative process. A lot of age management practices find that using glutathion with their patients really helps them feel better." Dr. Anderson points out that their training is usually spread over four days. "We’ve pared it down to focus on what is most applicable to an age management practice."
One session, "Properly Calculating Osmolarity and Potential Side Effects/Problems During and After IVs—How to Identify and Treat Them" will be taught by Kathryn Retzler, N.D. of HormoneSynergy Clinic in Portland, OR. Dr. Retzler said, "I've been doing IVs for more than 15 years with few urgent issues or emergencies. It is very important to do proper lab work (check for kidney or liver disease, G6PD deficiency, blood sugar, white count) before treatment to prevent complications or issues. I'll be discussing specific labs to order for those."
Dr. Retzler explained that osmolarity is the concentration of solutes in a volume of solution. "Hypotonic solutions cause fluids to shift from blood vessels into cells and the interstitial space (cells swell)," she said. "This can lead to hypotension and shock. If a solution is very hypotonic, it can cause red blood cell lysis (bursting) of cells. Hypertonic solutions cause cells to shrink, are irritating to the vein wall, and can lead to circulatory overload. Ideally, IV solutions are isotonic (240-375 mOsm/L). Calculating osmolarity is straightforward and will prevent complications from hypo or hyper osmolar solutions." Dr. Retzler said her presentation will also cover other possible complications or emergencies regarding IV therapy, including vasovagal reactions, hypoglycemia, anaphylaxis, pulmonary embolism, speed shock, and syncope.
Another lecturer will be Edwin N. Lee, M.D., who will lead off the day with "History, Indications and Scientific Evidence-Based Rationale for the Clinical Use of IV Nutrient Therapy," essentially laying the groundwork for the rest of the day's sessions.
The preconference track, Fundamentals and Clinical Applications of IV Nutrient Therapy, will be presented on Thursday, April 27 at the 22nd Clinical Applications for Age Management Medicine Conference in Championsgate/Orlando, FL. For more information please visit www.agemed.org.
Return to February 2017 e-Journal