Anxiety disorders can be debilitating. The grip of anxiety can feel suffocating, making it difficult to get through daily life when symptoms are at their peak. But while these feelings of fear are pervasive, they’re often unfounded and not based on reality.
That’s why it’s important to seek out anxiety disorder treatment, which may involve medication and talk therapy practices, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Many people also find it helpful to incorporate alternative therapies into their treatment plans. For instance, IV therapy is an ideal holistic treatment for anxiety because it’s fast and effective and addresses symptoms associated with this mental health condition.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that covers several types of conditions, including:
- Social anxiety
- Generalized anxiety
- Panic disorder
Each type of disorder has specific symptoms. For example, phobias usually have a distinct trigger behind the fear, such as blood or spiders. However, all anxiety disorders are marked by chronic, excessive fear and may share some of these other symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Underlying dread and tension
- Catastrophizing or thinking the worst will happen
- Restlessness or an inability to sit still
- Inability to control or stop thinking worrisome, negative thoughts
- Elevated heart or breathing rates
- Muscle spasms or trembling
- Gastrointestinal problems (nausea or diarrhea)
- Insomnia and fatigue
IV therapy can help alleviate some of these symptoms, making it a good complementary anxiety treatment.
How IV Therapy Works
IV (or intravenous) therapy is common in hospital emergency rooms, urgent care centers, doctor’s offices, and other clinical settings. But in recent years, it’s also become a widespread treatment modality used in med spas and IV lounges. There are even convenient mobile services if you want the privacy and comfort of anxiety treatment at home.
IV therapy is actually a simple, straightforward treatment:
- Select your drip bag: An IV bag is filled with a sterile saline solution. In that solution, you can add a combination of vitamins, minerals, supplements, or medications for customized treatment.
- Prep for the infusion: Your IV provider will check your vital signs, review your health history, and discuss your anxiety symptoms.
- Receive the IV fluids: You’ll remain comfortably seated as your provider gently inserts a needle into your arm to place the IV port, which is hooked up to the line attached to your IV bag. Your IV provider will then hang the bag from an IV pole so the fluids drip down the line, eventually going right to your bloodstream. This allows for maximum absorption of the IV’s nutrients because they don’t have to first travel through the body’s digestive tract like oral medications. Your IV provider will monitor you throughout treatment.
- Finish treatment and go on with your day: The IV provider will remove the line and port from your arm and place a small bandage on the insertion site when the infusion ends. There’s no downtime, so you can resume normal activities as soon as possible.
IV therapy has a variety of uses, and different combinations of vitamins and minerals can help target specific conditions, including anxiety disorder symptoms.
How IV Therapy Can Help Manage Symptoms
Alleviating anxiety symptoms with IV therapy starts with the selection of vitamins and minerals for your drip bag. Here are some key nutrients to use:
- B vitamins: Vitamin B12 and the B Complex group of vitamins are renowned for fighting fatigue and supplying energy.
- Vitamin C: Research shows that there may be a link between anxiety disorders and the oxidative stress caused by free radical damage in the body. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps neutralize free radicals to prevent that oxidative stress.
- Magnesium: A deficiency of this mineral can heighten feelings of stress, which may elevate anxiety symptoms.
- Zinc: A healthy supply of zinc in the body is associated with high levels of GABA and glutamate, which help regulate mood disorders such as anxiety.
In recent years, NAD+, also known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is another IV ingredient that has become popular for anxiety disorder treatment. Naturally produced by the body, this co-enzyme influences sirtuin levels that support mood. When NAD+ levels are low, it may lead to lower quantities of sirtuin in the body, exacerbating anxiety symptoms. The problem is that our bodies don’t produce as much NAD+ as we age, so you may need supplementation to improve anxiety symptoms.
These ingredients can also help ease symptoms related to anxiety such as fatigue, low energy, and gastrointestinal problems like nausea. IV therapy also effectively rehydrates the body, which is important because dehydration can increase feelings of anxiety.
Explore the Possibilities of IV Therapy for Anxiety
Talk with your doctor to see how you can integrate IV therapy into a treatment plan. It’s one of several holistic ways of addressing anxiety disorders, along with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, healthy sleep habits, stress management techniques such as meditation, and limited alcohol consumption. Crafting a comprehensive care plan can be the blueprint you need to successfully manage an anxiety disorder and live a full life.
BIO: Phil Hinkel, MSN, RN is Co-owner and Co-founder of Mobile IV Nurses, an IV provider with multiple locations in Arizona and Florida. His professional background includes Pre-Hospital Trauma, Surgical and Trauma Critical Care, Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Cath Lab, Hospital Supervisor, Nurse Manager, and Nursing Service Chief.