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Intravenous nutrition


November 2015

"Start an I.V." is a universally recognized command issued by doctors on medical dramas to assist hospital patients facing imminent, life-threatening illnesses. But an increasing number of people are walking into clinics and receiving intravenous nutrition to address a variety of health issues or merely to improve athletic performance or mental focus.

"Some people we see have no health concerns," said Michele Nickels, a naturopathic doctor at Brookfield’s Integrative Family Wellness Center. "But we see a lot of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, Krohn’s colitis, a lot of heartburn and indigestion. They’re not absorbing their nutrition properly."

Intravenous nutrition provides multivitamins and minerals, trace minerals and micronutrients, which facilitate that absorption, that could not be taken orally.

"There’s a lot of nutrition," Nickels says. "Your gut could never handle it. It’s a shot of nutrition right into the vein." Nickels says she meets with her patients for an hour to discuss their conditions before deciding on a course of treatment.

"We will use I.V. nutrition along with diagnostic testing. We focus on the cause of their illness, not focusing on their disease."

Because of the large amount of nutrition dispensed, many sessions last two hours at a cost of $125. Thirty-minute sessions are $75, with a $60 fee for 15 minutes.

The costs are not covered by insurance, but Nickels says a relatively small investment pays big dividends. "My patients get better within a week. We’re like the last resort clinic for people whose traditional medications have failed them and they’re still not feeling healthy.

"People get well when you work with the body and not against the body," she adds.


This story ran in the November 2015 issue of: