What conditions does B12 injections help address?
- Cervical Dysplasia
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorders
- Memory Issues
- Menopause Symptoms
- Mood Issues
- Paresthesia (numbness)
- Peripheral Neuropathies
- Gastrointestinal problems including bypass surgery, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS),
use of Rx acid blockers like Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, and Nexium.
What are the benefits of B12 injections?
- More energy, mental alertness and stamina for everyday tasks
- Healthier immune system
- Improve sleep
- Increase metabolism, thereby aiding in weight loss
- Improve seasonal allergies
- Improve mood stabilization, reduce stress and depression
- Lessen frequency and severity of migraines and headaches
- Help lower homocysteine levels in the blood, thereby reducing the probability of heart diseases and strokes
Can B12 deficiency be identified through blood tests?
B12 activity is not effectively measured in blood; however, what is in the blood does not necessarily reflect tissue or storage levels in the body. Methyl Malonic Acid, a metabolite of B12, may be more accurate yet still appear normal in many patients who receive improvement of symptoms with B12 injections.
Are any of my medications causing a lack of B12 absorption?
Medications that decrease or reduce absorption of B12 include antibiotics, cobalt irradiation, colchicine, colestipol, H2-blockers, metformin, nicotine, birth control pills, potassium chloride, and proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid, Losec, Aciphex, Pantoloc, and Zidovudine.
Why use an injection of Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 has a complex absorption process with many steps that make it prone to mishaps. There must be sufficient intestinal acidity, functioning cells that release intrinsic factor (a protective protein), and luminal factors (for subsequent removal of intrinsic factor in the small intestine before absorption through the digestive wall). Injections bypass the above steps increasing the absorption of vitamin B12. It then requires transport from the serum into the target tissues via specific carrier molecules.
Are there any toxicity or side effects to B12 injections?
B12 is not known to be toxic and no side effects are generally observed. There have been a very few patients that get overstimulated initially. Those who get the injection in the afternoon then may have trouble sleeping the first night; morning injections generally do not cause this problem. A few patients have experienced the desire to take a nap after getting the injection, followed by feeling refreshed with better, more stable energy levels.
Why aren’t dietary sources of B12 sufficient?
B12 is primarily supplied in food of animal source like meat, dairy, and eggs. Non-animal sources of B12 include seaweed and micro algae (spirulina, chlorella); therefore, strict vegetarians can be at risk. However, eating foods containing B12 does not ensure sufficient blood levels due to possible absorption issues as previously described.
Vitamin B12 Facts
- B12 injections are typically used as a treatment for a certain type of anemia (pernicious anemia). In this type of anemia, people lack intrinsic factor in the stomach which is necessary for the proper absorption of the vitamin.
- Vegetarians (especially vegans) are also given B12 injections since their diet is low in animal products, the primary source of vitamin B12.
- People with chronic fatigue, chronic pain or anemia may require monthly or weekly injections of vitamin B12 as the oral form is not dependable.
- Vitamin B12 injections are most effective when taken at regular intervals (usually monthly or weekly).
- A regular schedule to receive the injections can be individually customized.
- The body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 is reduced with increasing age. Older people are more likely to have a substantial vitamin B12 deficiency, even in cases where they do not suffer from pernicious anemia.
You should not receive a vitamin B12 injection if you have a rare condition in which you are allergic to cobalt/cobalamin or have Leber’s disease. Talk with your practitioner if you have polycythemia vera, any abnormal red blood cell condition (megaloblastic anemia), or are pregnant or currently breast-feeding.
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