B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is also known as cobalamin. It plays a vital role in your body, it contributes to
- Energy production
- Producing red blood cells
- Brain function
- Neurological function
- DNA Synthesis
Vitamin B-12 can be stored in the liver for an extremely long time, so it might even take years for your body to develop a deficiency.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of B-12 is only 6 micrograms per day. Despite the low recommended intake deficiency is still common, especially in those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. In fact, it’s thought that as many as 90% of the people who follow these diets are deficient in vitamin B-12 because one of the only natural sources for B-12 is in animal food products.
However, you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to develop a deficiency. Even some carnivores experience a B-12 deficiency because they simply don’t absorb it well. This is because B-12 is unlike other vitamins. Meaning the absorption of B-12 depends on a protein produced in your stomach called intrinsic factor.
In case you missed that day in biology, the Intrinsic factor is a glycoprotein that binds to vitamin B-12 so that you can absorb it directly into the blood. Once it is within your bloodstream your body can make use of it. Some people don’t produce enough intrinsic factors, and they also can become deficient. This is common among the elderly population because as we age our ability to absorb all vitamins decreases with age.
It’s also common for people who have pernicious anemia (a type of anemia that is characterized by a lack of intrinsic factor) also tend to develop a deficiency. If you feel like you might be deficient call our office today or book an appointment online, our highly trained staff will be ready to assist you. Elite Testing and Wellness can do a micronutrient test on your body and figure out if you are deficient. Depending on your results, we can offer you custom IV therapy as well as individual B-12 injections.
Who needs a B-12 Injection?
Besides the conditions listed above, the following risk factors can increase the chance of developing a B-12 deficiency.
- Alcohol abuse
- Having endocrine-related autoimmune disorders (such as diabetes, or thyroid disorder)
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease
- Having undergone gastric bypass surgery or other surgeries that remove parts of the stomach.
What are the signs of a B-12 Deficiency?
If you are displaying any of the signs and symptoms of B-12 deficiency, it’s best to contact your doctor immediately. Some commons symptoms include:
- Brain fog
- Decreased cognitive function such as issues with memory
- Heart palpitations
- Vision changes
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Depression or irritability
- Feeling faint
- Sore or swollen tongue, or mouth ulcers
- Paresthesia (pins and needles)
B-12 Injection Health Benefits
Now you have a better understanding of the role that vitamin B-12 plays in the body you can understand that having a deficiency can lead to serious health problems. Some of the immediate health benefits include:
Lack of B-12 contributes to the body’s ability to create white blood cells which keep your body in good working order as well as fight off infections.
Lack of B-12 can lead to anemia. One of the side effects of anemia is an inability to convert fats and proteins into energy.
B-12 is required to create red blood cells, red blood cells are used to oxygenate your body, providing you the fuel you need to function properly.
When cells cannot metabolize efficiently it is difficult for hair to grow efficiently, when the body has the support it needs hair growth returns to normal.
B-12 contributes to the natural production of tryptophan in your body. (That’s right it’s not only from Turkey! It’s actually a useful and naturally occurring chemical in your body.) When your body has the support it needs it can produce the tryptophan needed to help you fall asleep easily when your body needs rest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
That depends on your body and why you are deficient. People who cannot absorb B-12 will need regular injections since your body needs B-12 to function properly. If you can absorb B-12 and have simply developed a deficiency you will only need enough to build up your reserves.
When injections are first administered a patient with severe symptoms may receive 4 to 7 during the first week to restore the body’s reserves of this vitamin. The effects are powerful and quick, most patients see and feel a positive response within 48 to 72 hours with a brisk production of new red blood cells. Along with that comes a boost of energy and fatigue diminishes.
Lots of people do take B-12 supplements. Unfortunately, if you have a deficiency, it’s likely you also do not produce enough intrinsic factor, or your body has difficulty absorbing it. By getting a B-12 shot you can bypass the stomach entirely and it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. A Vitamin B-12 shot is the most common and efficient way to prevent or treat a deficiency. The injections are prescribed by a doctor and given intramuscularly (into a muscle). Injections are usually given as hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin. These are both very effective at raising blood levels of B-12 and preventing and even reversing deficiency.
Elite Testing is the best choice to get the B-12 injections you need. We provide a safe and comfortable facility. We offer online scheduling for optimal convenience. We practice the highest safety standards and you will always receive fast and professional service. Our staff is well trained to answer your questions and comfortably provide these services. Call us today or book online to set up your appointment.