by Dr. Tonya Fleck-D’Andrea

Why would anyone consider using Intravenous (IV) or Intramuscular (IM) therapies?  Aren’t IVs for really sick people?   The answer is yes and no.  Yes, IVs are very helpful during cases of extreme illness, but you can actually use IV & IM therapies to avoid getting ill, to stimulate your immune system, to support detoxification and to optimize health.   By the time symptoms of illness start to appear, oral supplementation of vitamins and minerals may not be enough to restore the body to balance.  Why is this?

When we take a substance into our body orally, the substance is still considered ‘outside’ the body until we pass it through our stomach and absorb it into our bloodstream through our gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  If we have any disruption in the health of the lining of our GI tract, we probably aren’t absorbing most of the nutrients we’re taking in.  In addition, the cells of the stomach & GI tract can only absorb so much at one time.  Most vitamins, aside from Vitamins A, D, E and K, are water soluble.  What this means is that the body cannot store these nutrients.  It absorbs what it can and urinates out the rest.

When we inject nutrients directly into the muscle or the vein, we bypass the stomach and the GI tract, thereby maximizing nutrient absorption.  Large doses of nutrients taken orally can also irritate the GI lining, limiting oral dosages.   For example, most people experience loose stool if they take up to 10,000mg of Vit C in one day.  However, for viral conditions and patients with cancer, Vitamin C is often given intravenously at a dosage of 50,000 – 100,000 mg without any negative side-effects or GI irritation.

Who benefits from intramuscular or intravenous therapies?

First of all, you don’t hSanta-Cruz-Naturopathic-Medical Centerave to be ‘sick’ to get an IM injection.  Most of the IM injections given in my office are B vitamins, folic acid and homeopathics.  Giving high dose vitamins intramuscularly is a safe, effective tool to treat fatigued adrenal glands, depression, anxiety, enhance the immune system and to treat chronic fatigue.  Many people experience an immediate boost in their energy and vitality.

It is very difficult, in any condition, for the body to heal if the cells are not getting the proper nutrients that they need.  Taking nutrients orally is a waste of time and money if the nutrients aren’t actually being absorbed and transported into the cells.  If nutrients do not reach the cells, the consequence is that organ, tissues and organ systems will be prevented from healing to their capacity.

Conditions that benefit include acute illnesses such as the flu, or more chronic conditions such as chronic viral or bacterial infections, chronic fatigue, high stress, adrenal fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, detoxification, cancer and general immune support.  Glutathione IV’s are often given to support heavy metal detoxification, chemical sensitivities, mold exposure, hormone imbalances/PMS and liver detoxification.  Glutathione is also a great anti-aging agent as it’s our body master antioxidant.

It isn’t always necessary to give nutrients intramuscularly or intravenously.  Many imbalances and deficiencies can be resolved using high quality oral supplementation.  However, when this is not effective, IM and IV treatments provide great benefits.


Dr. Fleck-D’Andrea received her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Tempe, AZ.  She completed her BS is Psychology & graduate work in Marriage & Family Therapy.  She is the Founder and Medical Director of the Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center in downtown Santa Cruz. Dr. Fleck-D’Andrea specializes in Family Medicine, Hormone Issues, Gastrointestinal & Thyroid disorders and Womens Health, as well as medical nutrition, detoxification, fatigue, depression & anxiety, homeopathy and botanical medicine.

Call for a free 15 minute consultation.  (831) 477.1377.


Dr. Tonya Fleck-D’Andrea
Dr. Tonya Fleck-D'Andrea is the Founder and Medical Director of the Santa Cruz Naturopathic Medical Center. She received her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, her BS in Pyschology from SUNY Buffalo and completed graduate work in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of MD. Tonya
Dr. Fleck has always been passionate about people experiencing freedom in their health and vitality. As a Naturopathic Doctor, she takes a holistic approach when creating individualized treatment plans, partnering with her patients to discover and remove the underlying obstacles to cure.