Vitamin B12 injections are an increasingly popular health treatment to treat a vitamin deficiency in B12. Such deficiencies can cause an array of health problems ranging from simple fatigue to life-altering permanent neurological changes. We’ll explore what B12 injections are, what conditions they can address, and how you can take advantage of vitamin B12 shots to improve your overall health.
Why Vitamin B12 Injections?
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for your body that is water-soluble and plays a key role in a number of bodily functions. Vitamin B12 helps to facilitate the production of energy, nerve cell health, neurological functions, DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, and other essential functions in the body. Vitamin B12 is present in a wide variety of food sources, namely those that are animal-based as B12 is bound to protein molecules. During digestion, vitamin B12 is absorbed into the bloodstream, with adequate stomach acid being necessary to separate B12 from the protein, with the substance called “intrinsic factor” essential to absorb the B12.
When individuals cannot absorb Vitamin B12 properly, they may develop pernicious anemia, a condition that is characterized by the lack of intrinsic factor. Given that the daily recommended dosage of Vitamin B12 for adult men and women is 2.4 micrograms (mcg), and rises to 2.6 and 2.8mcg for pregnant and breastfeeding women respectively, absorption is essential.
Vitamin B12 Shots and Deficiencies
The primary purpose of receiving a Vitamin B12 shot is to ensure that your body receives a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 to perform its essential functions such as red blood cell production or neurological functioning. When B12 cannot be absorbed through food sources, it can be gained from a man-made version of the nutrient called “cyanocobalamin.”
Vitamin B12 shots contain high levels of cyanocobalamin to rectify any shortages in the body. The shots can be self-administered, although we recommend going to a professional to ensure adequate delivery without any hassle. These shots can quickly boost the level of B12 in your body, making up for any deficiencies.
It is possible to consume cyanocobalamin through a variety of means. The man-made vitamin can be found in liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Foods generally lacking in vitamin B12 can also be fortified with cyanocobalamin to increase the B12 content. The most effective and direct delivery method, however, remains the vitamin B12 shot.
Who Needs Vitamin B12 Shots?
Given that vitamin B12 can be purchased over the counter, can be found in foods, and also through pills and tablets, vitamin B12 shots are available only through prescription. Only those that truly need vitamin B12 shots should pursue this option. The human liver generally stores many years worth of vitamin B12, and thus it is rare for individuals to have a significant lack of vitamin B12 in their bodies. Such individuals are prime candidates for the beneficial treatment.
There are three groups of individuals who are particularly at risk of experiencing vitamin B12 deficiencies:
- Those with symptoms of B12 deficiency
- B12 deficiency risk factors
- People with gastrointestinal issues
B12 Deficiency Symptoms
As noted above, one of the common symptoms of a B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia. Common signs and symptoms of a B12 deficiency manifested in this way include decreased cognitive functioning, including issues with memory. Fatigue is a common symptom coupled with lethargy, depression, and irritability. Headaches, feeling faint, and constipation are also additional symptoms to watch out for, alongside many others.
B12 Deficiency Risk Factors
Particular behaviors increase the level of risk that you might develop a B12 deficiency. Engaging in the following behaviors will heighten the risk of B12 deficiency: smoking, alcohol abuse, particular prescription medications such as antacids and some drugs for type-2 diabetes, endocrine-related autoimmune disorders including diabetes or thyroid disorders, eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, gastrointestinal disorders, gastric bypass, and aging.
Gastrointestinal Issues and B12 Deficiency
Persons who have gastrointestinal issues are particularly predisposed to issues with B12 deficiencies. When the gastrointestinal tract does not function effectively, it may inhibit the release of B12 from the protein and the absorption that is meant to follow it. Individuals who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, may also have fewer cells through which to secrete stomach acid and intrinsic factor, inhibiting B12 absorption.
The Benefits of B12 Shots
The key advantage of vitamin B12 injections is the fact that they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This delivery method bypasses the gastrointestinal system altogether, so persons in risk groups for vitamin B12 deficiency with gastrointestinal issues may turn to the shot option for a quick means of ensuring their body has sufficient stores of vitamin B12 to effectively function.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the proper functioning of the human body. In the presence of a deficiency, it is essential that you consult with medical professionals to identify the source of the deficiency. Should it simply be diet-based, for example if you are a vegan, you eat no meat and thus are denied foods high in proteins and thus vitamin B12, then using edible vitamin B12 supplements, whether tablets, pills, or fortified foods, is sufficient.
However, for those with gastrointestinal issues, the consumption of greater levels of vitamin B12 through foods and digestible sources will do little to rectify the deficiency. In such instances, vitamin B12 injections are necessary to provide for the need of the vitamin for the user. Vitamin B12 shots are delivered by medical professionals after testing, ensuring that the amount you receive is exactly what you require to achieve optimal functioning.
Candidates for vitamin B12 injections should consult with a medical professional to determine whether the treatment is viable, and if so, to what degree. To learn more and for consultations on how vitamin B12 injections can be used to improve your look, come on down and visit the professionals at A Younger You, with offices located in Burlington, WI and Brookfield, WI. Contact us today to book your appointment!