In the last few years, Vitamin B12 shot has been added to the menu of wellness centers and holistic beauty spas as it has become increasingly popular, and for a good reason. Although vitamin B12 shots are usually prescribed to treat a vitamin B12 deficiency, these shots are also given to anyone experiencing increased fatigue or lack of energy levels.
Interestingly, Vitamin B12 (along with other B vitamins) is required for proper energy production in the mitochondria, which are membrane-bound cell organelles that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions. The number of mitochondria in the cells and muscles and how effectively they work determine the amount of energy. That said, anything that lowers energy production in the mitochondria may manifest as fatigue.
Why Must We Have Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 (also called cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in the body. It has many benefits and functions, but it’s predominantly known for helping the body form red blood cells. Aside from that, it also helps the body convert food into glucose—in other words, the creation of energy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Vitamin B12?
Fatigue and low energy are among the first symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Others include:
- Bleeding gums and mouth sores
- Anxiety and depression
- Digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, cramping, or nausea
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Poor memory
- Rapid heartbeat and palpitations
- Shortness of breath
What Are The Possible Causes Of Low B12?
Typically, those low in vitamin B12 are people who transition to plant-based eating, but other potential causes exist.
- High-stress levels (i.e., a combo of training and life)
- Poor diet
- Lack of B12 sources in the diet
- Poor digestion, hindering absorption
- Heartburn drugs can interfere (because the body needs acid to absorb B12)
- Excessive alcohol consumption. Consumption of too much alcohol daily and eating little often can cause too low vitamin B12 levels. For the reason that their stomachs and intestines absorb vitamin B12 less well.
- The stomach or intestine disease. Because the stomach issue prevents absorption of vitamin B12 during a meal.
- Crohn’s disease. The same goes for chronic inflammation of the intestine.
- Autoimmune disease. Inflammation of the gastric mucosa.
- Reduction of the stomach due to a bariatric surgery
- Elderly people, due to the decreasing stomach acid production
- Long-term treatment with certain medications like certain gastric tablets and Metformin (diabetes)
What Benefits Does Vitamins B12 Shots Offer?
B12 injections provide some of the benefits below:
- Helps reduce fatigue
- Aids fetal development during pregnancy
- Fights depression, cognitive decline, and dementia
- Helps with the creatine production for building muscle mass and reducing muscle weakness
- Helps with weight loss by improving metabolism
- Helps regulate hormone production
- Improves a low sperm count
- Improves the nails, hair, and skin’s appearance
- Improves exercise routines by providing more energy
- Improves memory
- Improves sleep
- Lowers risk of coronary heart disease.
- Treats anemia with the conversion of macronutrients
- Treats diabetic neuropathy
How Long Do B12 Shots Work?
How soon vitamin B12 starts working depends on the ability to absorb the nutrient and whether the person has a serious deficiency. Reports say that some patients feel a stark increase in energy within days, while others report slower progress. Within 48-72 hours, the B12 injections will rapidly increase reticulocytes (immature red blood cells) and the subsequent gradual correction of anemia.
For those who are mildly B12 deficient, it may take 2-3 injections over several weeks to notice the benefits of B12 injections. However, it might take three months to correct a B12 deficiency completely. Below is the typical dosage regimen that begins with higher amounts and decreases gradually.
For instance, a doctor might prescribe the following:
- For about a week, a prescription of 100 micrograms daily
- To be followed by seven doses every other day
- After which, a prescription will be every three to four days for two to three weeks
- Once a month until the deficiency is treated
To reiterate, B12 injections require a prescription and can be administered at a doctor’s office or home with a healthcare provider’s approval. The common injection sites include the thigh, shoulder, and buttocks.
What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin B12 Shots?
While oral vitamin B-12 is safe to take at recommended doses for healthy people, the vitamin B-12 shots, which are used to treat significant deficiencies, may cause some side effects, including:
- mild diarrhea
- skin rash
- sensation of swelling
- vein thrombosis
- congestive heart failure early in treatment, and pulmonary edema
- polycythemia vera (rare, slow-growing blood cancer)
Also, Vitamin B-12 can cause very rare but serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). This includes swelling of the face, tongue, throat, and difficulty swallowing and breathing. If this occurs after taking vitamin B-12, immediately alert a doctor.
Who Could Benefit From The B12 Shots?
Most people can consume enough vitamin B12 through their diet, but there are times when exhaustion and fatigue may happen. Most importantly, those who have trouble getting or absorbing enough of the nutrient can benefit from the shot. Below are also the people who might be prescribed B12 shots who are at the highest risk for a B12 deficiency, which includes:
- Elderly people at age 60 and up since their bodies don’t absorb B12 as efficiently
- People who have undergone weight-loss surgery, since it decreases the B12 absorption
- Those with an eating disorder
- Those with Crohn’s disease or pancreatic disease, since they prevent nutrient absorption
- People with HIV
- People with diabetes
- Vegans, since vitamin B12 is found only in animal products
How Often Should You Get A Vitamin B12 Shot?
While everyone is different and has unique needs, those with anemia associated with vitamin B12 deficiency will likely be given 100 mcg (as an injection) into the muscle once daily for about one week. The frequency of this injection will eventually be lowered to once every month. Nonetheless, the frequency and dosage will change based on improved blood work and symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Whether we realize it or not, B12 is a critical vitamin involved in fundamental processes of the body, like energy production and metabolism. Nurse Lauren LLC (DBA Modern Med) offers B12 Shots necessary for transporting oxygen in the blood, producing red blood cells, and helping the function of the nervous system. Ultimately, B12 shots will help rejuvenate your system and restore its energy.
Check out more Services offered by Modern Med Aesthetics here.