SOUTH BAY TOTAL HEALTH
Health Care in Harmony with Nature
Dr. Arlan Cage, ND, LAc


 

Intra-Venous Micronutrient Therapy

 

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WHAT IS IT?
Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy, or IVMT, is a treatment method which uses nutrients such as vitamins or minerals and administers these directly into the bloodstream rather than taking these nutrients as oral supplements which is more common. There are several advantages of giving the body nutrients by the intra-venous method.

First, by injecting substances directly into the bloodstream you eliminate any alteration in the nutrients which may occur from the actions of digestive enzymes. Second, the amount of nutrients in the blood can reach much higher, more therapeutic levels faster than is possible by absorbing nutrients through the Gastro-Intestinal system. This may be particularly important if a patient is suffering from a GI system disorder where absorption of nutrients is impaired. In some cases the IV use of micronutrients permits much higher levels than are possible even with a healthy GI system.

IS IT SAFE?
The substances used in IVMT are vitamins and minerals which are categorized as "Essential Nutrients" - those things our bodies must have in order to be healthy or even survive, but are incapable of making from other raw materials. Traditionally, Essential Nutrients were obtained from the food we eat. In modern times, however, the poor quality of our over-processed foods means that most of us are severely deficient in these Essential Nutrients. Deficiencies of these nutrients, in fact, are associated with most chronic illnesses. Providing the body with Essential Nutrients it badly needs is generally healthy for most people. Small risks are associated with the intravenous injection process, which may include bruising around the injection site, and are similar to the risks of having your blood drawn for lab tests.

Side Effects of treatment can include bruising around the site of the needle stick. Some patients may have a tendency to vascular fragility, and can suffer a phenomenon known as "infiltration", in which the walls of the vein rupture and the IV fluid leaks into the surrounding tissue causing local burning. This will dissipate within a short period of time, but the IV site will need to be moved to another vein. Some patients may have small or hard-to-find veins. In rare instances, if you have small veins or are especially prone to vascular fragility, you may not be a candidate for IVMT. In some instances, a period of high dose oral nutrients can build up your nutritional state and help strengthen your veins to the point you can use the IVMT therapy.

WHAT CONDITIONS CAN IVMT BE USED FOR?
The vitamins and minerals used in IVMT are co-factors in biochemical reactions in every cell in our bodies. As a result, IVMT can be used as an adjunct in any condition where low levels of nutrients or other nutritional deficiencies are suspected. Acute and chronic infectious illnesses often respond quickly to IVMT. Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Inflammatory GI conditions, acute trauma and many others all respond to IVMT for many patients.

The MYERS' COCKTAIL
The Myers' Cocktail is a name given to a basic IVMT protocol. It is named after Dr. John Myers M.D., who practiced in Baltimore during the mid 20th century and was one of the founders of modern IVMT therapy. The Myers' Cocktail, often simply referred to as a "Myers", contains:

       - B-Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12;
       - Vitamin C
       - Calcium
       - Magnesium
       - Trace Minerals

The Myers' Cocktail is the first line IVMT therapy for many conditions. Modifications to this basic protocol can be made based on your exact condition.

Scientific Evidence for the Myers' Cocktail: Some of the most extensive evidence for the effectiveness of the Myers' Cocktail was compiled by Alan Gaby M.D., who also practiced in Baltimore and took over many of Dr. Myers' patients after his death in 1984. Dr. Gaby administered more than 15,000 Myers' injections to about 1000 patients over an 11 year period in an outpatient setting. A summary of this work was published in Alternative Medicine Review, Vol 7, No. 5, 2002. Dr. Gaby found the Myers effective for Asthma, Migraines, Chronic Fatigue, Acute Muscle Spasms, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Chronic Sinusitis, Seasonal Allergies, Cardiovascular Disease, Mental Depression, Urticaria and various other disorders. To read Dr. Gaby's article Click Here.


IV MICRONUTRIENT THERAPY IN THE NEWS
While IVMT has been around the alternative medicine circles since the 1960s, it certainly isn't a widespread or well known therapy. That may be starting to change. The February 2005 issue of Alternative Medicine Magazine, a national monthly periodical aimed at promoting knowledge of Alternative Therapies to general audiences, ran an article about the use of IVMT for Fibromyalgia. Click here to read the article.

The NIH has even sponsored a clinical trial on the effectiveness of IVMT in the treatment of Fibromyalgia....Click here to see the details.

 


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