Cold and flu season is officially upon us, friends, and according to Dr. Brett Florie, D.O., M.D., and founder of The Hydration Room, it’s hitting harder and earlier than usual. But for Dr. Florie, a board-certified anesthesiologist who grew up in Newport Beach, a remedy might be one IV away.
Dr. Florie started The Hydration Room after his wife suffered debilitating migraines and he developed a vitamin IV therapy to assuage her symptoms. He saw a “powerful impact” from the remedy and soon became fascinated with the potential of intravenous vitamins. Thus, The Hydration Room was born.
Today, he integrates allopathic and naturopathic medicine into customized vitamin injection and IV therapies, in locations across Southern California and right here in Newport Beach. The therapies cover everything from migraines to jet lag to the symptoms of the flu, and IVs usually last no more than 30 minutes.
So, as the season of sniffles and sore throats looms, we asked the good doctor to fill us in on how to stay healthy this winter.
WEST OCEANFRONT: Let’s just get right into it: What’s the best way to combat the flu?
DR. FLORIE: With vitamins. The flu is a virus and studies have shown that high doses of Vitamin C and Zinc can be lethal to a viral infection. An IV is not going to prevent a flu like a vaccine would, but if you come in with flu-like symptoms, it can wipe out a viral infection. Also with the flu, you can have nausea, body aches and fatigue, and we have IV therapies [to help with those symptoms].
What have been your observations about the flu this year?
It’s hitting early. It hit probably late September, early October, which is earlier than usual. Usually, [flu season arrives] late October or November.
Are there things we can do to proactively arm ourselves against the flu, especially as the holiday season approaches and our schedules fill with parties and events?
I always tell patients: Use common sense. Hand washing helps, getting a good night’s sleep helps, drinking water and staying hydrated helps. Hygiene is huge. People don’t realize at parties you’re shaking a lot of hands and it’s so easy to transmit a virus. Also, try to minimize stress. When you’re stressed, the immune system is weakened and you become more prone to infections.
And are there IVs at The Hydration room to help prevent the flu?
As far as what we offer, I tell patients you want to boost your immune system. An immune support-type IV does help increase the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count and attacking viruses in the body. Vitamin C can boost the immune system. As far as the holiday season and flu season, a lot of times people are not eating the healthiest around the holidays and our Happy Tummy IV targets GI issues. [Editor’s Note: Read more about irritable bowel syndrome here.] Also, a lot of our patients come in with malabsorption issues because they over-indulge with carbs. In general, gastrointestinal health is becoming a more significant part of wellness. People are realizing gut health is a huge thing and we see a lot of people coming in to target GI issues around the holidays as well as throughout the year.
On the subject of overindulgence, do you offer anything for those dreaded holiday hangovers?
We do have a hangover IV. Obviously with holiday parties, if you drink more than normal, we have an IV that helps dehydration and headache, and replenishes the vitamins that alcohol takes out of your system. Alcohol is a diuretic—it make you want to urinate—and our IV replaces the vitamins that cause brain fog and make you feel slow and sluggish. However, The Hydration Room is not a hangover clinic. We’re meant to be an alternative to the E.R.
Any trends you’re observing in the field of IV medicine?
I think right now Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) therapy is becoming more mainstream and talked about. Studies show it can be used for anti-aging. People are starting to learn more about it and the different applications for it, especially with patients who suffer from chronic pain. Also, antioxidants. People are starting to realize the power of antioxidants and the detoxing effects they have on the body. People are so much more involved in taking charge of their well-being now that IV therapy itself is becoming more mainstream. Four years ago people thought it was a fad and now it’s getting bigger, and coming to more and more places.
You’re clearly so passionate about wellness and helping others live better, healthier lives. What’s your favorite thing about running The Hydration Room?
I am an anesthesiologist, so I love to be able to interact with patients. When I go to surgery every day, I’m putting patients to sleep, so I’m not talking to them. At The Hydration Room I get to form relationships with these patients and get to see where they started from and the powerful impact we’re having on their wellness and overall health and well-being.