What are your thoughts and opinions on IV Vitamin Therapy for IBS and colitis? Do they help? Would you recommend those over a visit to the emergency room for hydration and medications?
I was diagnosed about four years ago with microscopic non ulcerative colitis. It's a mouthful. I had been sick since I was a teenager. I would go through times where I would feel fine followed by times that I would be sick for several months. My parents and the doctor didn't know what was wrong. It was always a "functional" sick. I felt like crap but could pull myself through workouts, school, work, life and would have to rest afterwards. Somedays it kicked my butt and I would be out for a couple of days. Doctors would diagnose me with the flu or worse the symptoms would end prior to my doctors appointment so they would just tell me I had the flu, was under stress or 'probably' had IBS. Finally after my youngest was born and I was sick for about 9 months straight they ordered a colonoscopy and I was able to get a firm diagnosis of microscopic colitis.
I've followed the FODMAP diet since and it has helped a ton. I've been able to reintroduce several foods back but not things like gluten or dairy (although I tolerate hard cheeses okay in smaller quantities). But this time it was tough. This year has been tough and I've been under a lot of stress which often causes flareups. I got the flu in March and have been sick on and off since. Functional sick. But this weekend I had had enough and decided I needed to go in to the emergency room for an IV to help me rehydrate and try to get on top of the inflammation in my colon. My doctors office or the urgent care used to do the IV's but now they send you to the ER. Which is frustrating. It's so expensive. It's been a few years since I've had to go to the ER so I was hoping they might have some new medications out or something that would help.
But no. Basically they give you a bag of IV fluids, make you take some medication to help the spasms in your stomach, and this time they made me drink Magic Mouthwash--basically a combination of Benadryl, Lidocaine and milk of magnesia. He also threw in a stronger dose of Zofran for nausea than I have at home and something stronger to help diarrhea. I left feeling more hydrated but not much else.
On the way home I was talking to my boyfriend and mentioned the vitamin IV infusions they do now as I was feeling a little frustrated. I felt they pretty much gave me a stronger dose of what I had at home. But I came to the ER because what I was using at home wasn't working anymore. I wondered if what I really needed in combination with my at home regimen for flareups was not a trip to the ER--but some help with hydration and nutrient replacement. The IV vitamin therapy is covered by my HSA. And it's $175 for an IV bag full of fluids and vitamins instead of a $250 emergency room copay for just stronger over the counter medication and a bag of fluids with no vitamins or nutrients. When you are sick for months on end and eating a diet of bananas and gluten free table crackers or rice cakes to survive it can be tough. It's also not uncommon to not even want to eat because your stomach hurts so bad and you know if you eat you are just going to be sick or running to the bathroom or your stomach will feel like it's on fire if you try to eat. Remember when I talked about my colonoscopy? I acutally ran 5 miles the morning of my colonoscopy because I hadn't felt that good in so long. Nothing was irritating my stomach anymore.
The vitamin IV infusions look like they give me what I need--nutrients that my body is lacking. While all my blood tests came back normal yesterday, my body hasn't absorbed nutrients--good nutrients--in a couple of months. Some of those things won't show up on a lab test. I wonder if that would help me more than an ER visit? Sound off and let me know what you think. Have you tried it? Does it help? I don't think I would use it regularly but I think it might work for flareups. What do you think?