What Is It Like to Get Low-Dose Chemotherapy?

insulin potentiation therapy

At EuroMed in Phoenix, our doctors use an alternative to traditional chemotherapy called insulin potentiation therapy (IPT). Patients who visit us usually know something about what conventional chemotherapy is like, from the IVs to the nausea. Here’s what it’s like to get the low-dose alternative using insulin.

Conventional cancer therapy is hard on the body. The grueling side effects of chemotherapy are well-documented, from cosmetic changes like hair loss to long-term complications like liver damage. The initial attraction to insulin potentiation therapy, sometimes called low-dose chemotherapy, is its lack of these side effects. Instead of large amounts of chemotherapy drugs, insulin potentiation therapy relies on insulin, a hormone the body creates naturally, to maximize the effects of a smaller dose of chemotherapy.

The night before your IPT treatment, you will be instructed to fast, as low blood sugar the day of the treatment allows the insulin to work to its full potential. Upon arrival to the clinic, you will be shown to a private treatment suite and encouraged to get comfortable. After our monitoring equipment is applied Insulin will be administered via IV for 20 to 40 minutes, lowering your blood sugar to an optimum level. Once the desired number is reached, your cells are most receptive to medicine, and very low dose chemotherapy is administered, reduced by 90% from the usual dosage.

During this time, you may experience symptoms of low blood sugar. These symptoms are mild and consist mainly of mild light headedness and perspiration. These symptoms disappear almost immediately upon administration of IV glucose. The process is very well tolerated, even by elderly patients and those weakened by their disease.

Each treatment generally lasts up to 2 hours. Your doctor may schedule 1 to 2 IPT sessions each week, eventually decreasing their frequency based on your reaction to the treatment and the progression of your cancer.

Insulin potentiation therapy is often used alongside complementary treatments to address the unique circumstances of each patient—this is the basis of integrative medicine. Though a negative PET scan or blood work is a huge step on the road to recovery, our practitioners recognize that the healing process can be long and complex. When IPT is supplemented with other therapies, we can not only treat the existing cancer, but we can lower the likelihood of its return.

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