Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble essential vitamin that plays a significant role in various bodily functions, including red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, energy metabolism, immune function, neurological function, and mood regulation.
A deficiency in Vitamin B12 may be the culprit in various health issues people experience, like fatigue, anemia, poor concentration and memory, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, pale skin, numbness and tingling of hands and feet, and weight loss, among others.
Vitamin B12 is easily absorbed by the body. It is found in many common foods we consume daily, like meat, organ meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, shellfish, B12-fortified foods like cereals, plant-based milk, and nutritional yeast.
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are generally two reasons why a person can have less B12 than necessary: A lack of animal-based food and the body’s inability to absorb this essential vitamin.
Other risk factors of Vitamin B12 deficiency include old age, some hereditary conditions, a history of gastrointestinal surgery, high alcohol consumption, and certain diseases like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, atrophic gastritis, pernicious anemia, pancreatic issues, and Helicobacter pylori infection.
Older adults generally lack hydrochloric acid in their stomach, which decreases their ability to absorb Vitamin B12. Also, being on a restrictive diet like vegan limits the body from having this essential nutrient. If you’re a vegan, consuming fortified plant-based foods is crucial for maintaining the required Vitamin B12 level in the body.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is diagnosed by a healthcare professional through blood tests.
Vitamin B12 Shots and How They Work
While oral Vitamin B12 supplementations are available, B12 shots have also gained popularity because of their efficient absorption and rapid onset of effects.
Vitamin B12 shots are a form of supplementation involving cyanocobalamin, a synthetic version of Vitamin B12 injected directly into the muscle tissue. This supplement is widely used commercially as it is certified safe.
While oral Vitamin B12 supplements are enough to help optimize this essential nutrient’s level in the body, B12 shots are administered based on factors like the severity of the deficiency, individual health conditions, and the healthcare provider’s evaluation and recommendation.
Depending on individual conditions, B12 shots may be given daily for the first two weeks or until the patient’s symptoms improve. A deficiency caused by a restrictive diet may require fewer shots, like once or twice a year.
Who Requires Vitamin B12 Shots?
A medical doctor can determine if a patient requires Vitamin B12 shots through clinical observation and diagnostic tests. Individuals who need Vitamin B12 shots are those showing signs of severe to moderate deficiency, those with gastrointestinal issues, the elderly, vegetarians and vegans, and those with deficiency-causing diseases and also showing signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Got Symptoms? Get Your Shots Now
At Pro Health Clinic, our medical professionals provide proper evaluation of patients through tests to determine if they have Vitamin B12 deficiency and if B12 shots would work for them.
With various clinic locations in Tennessee, Pro Health has been a trusted health and wellness clinic in the area, providing safe, effective, and convenient interventions for a wide range of health issues, including Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Make an appointment today, and experience optimized health!