A greasy breakfast. Ibuprofen and sleep. Hair of the dog. Every partyer worth their Jell-O shots has a preferred hangover remedy, but at Alpine Integrated Medicine in Redmond they have us all beat.
Alpine is a primary care and naturopathic medicine clinic, but they also offer all kinds of IV treatments, including one for hangovers.
“When you get dehydrated because of alcohol, your body loses not only pure water, it loses electrolytes,” says Dr Mohammad Shegeft, director of IV therapy. “So the hangover IV gives you that fluid that your body needs but also electrolytes and minerals that will not only combat some of the side effects but hydrate your cells to function better.”
Dr Shegeft says you come in, they hook you up with an IV bag and then you can just relax in one of their comfy chairs, in their IV suite, for about 45 minutes to an hour with the option of watching TV or reading a magazine.
He says the IV provides pretty quick results.
“Usually within 10 to 15 minutes you start feeling the effects. It’s bypassing the gut and going directly into your system.”
If you’re too hungover to come into the clinic, they will make house calls. Dr Shegeft says he’s worked with bachelor and bachelorette parties.
“The best way to do it is to get a hydrating IV before going out, if you’re planning ahead of time. The main ingredients that work well are all the electrolytes, magnesium, calcium, potassium. Making it a hydrating bag also helps, along with vitamin B12, B6 that helps with nausea and the headache as well.”
But the convenience of the home visit comes at a cost. Between the cost of the doctor visit and the actual IV solution, and depending how far they need to travel to get to you, you could spend up to $750.
Clinic owner and medical director, Brooke Azie-Rentz, says they’ve visited the hotel rooms of rock stars in town performing shows.
“Athletes have been doing this for decades,” Azie-Rentz said. “We see some athletes who come in after they’re retired that continue to do it because they know how much it helps them. Whether it’s sickness or hydration or just general wellness.”
Hangovers only make up about 5-10% of their IV business. Alpine sees a lot of business people who travel a lot for work coming in for immunity boosting IVs.
“We have a lot of people who come in during cold and flu season, they’re getting ready to go on vacation and want to get over their cold quicker,” Aziz-Rentz said. “So they’ll be done with the cold in three days rather than it lasting a week to 10 days. Or they’re planning on going on vacation and don’t want to get sick at all. So they’ll get the IVs beforehand to make sure they’re as healthy as they can before going on that trip.”
They say custom IVs can help chemo patients, people who have been in a car accident; all sorts of ailments can be alleviated. The IV is far more effective than taking supplements in pill form or chugging a Gatorade, and is gentle on the stomach.
“It’s about absorbability, so how much space, how many receptors we have in our gut to absorb any one thing at how any given time. If you only have 10 receptors, if you take 20 items you’re still only going to get 10. This is what you hear a lot about supplements is you just pee them out. It’s because you only have so many receptors. As far IV goes, we bypass that. We just put it directly into your veins and you get it directly absorbed into your system rather than having to worry about that absorbability,” Aziz-Rentz explains.
Alpine Integrated Medicine is one of the only games in town doing this kind of IV treatment, but they say it’s far more common in party cities like Vegas and Miami.