You may have noticed an uptick in the amount of stories you hear about Vitamin B12 shots. As with all injections of this type, these are primarily to counteract vitamin deficiency. In the case of Vitamin B12, a deficiency can seriously affect one’s wellbeing. In fact, it can even mimic the symptoms and signs of serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, though the possibility of a B12 deficiency is well-acknowledged in the medical community, many individuals suffer without being aware of it. Actually, a study from Tufts indicates that forty percent of adults have low levels of Vitamin B12.
Many people wonder what exactly Vitamin B12 shots do in the body and how the deficiency goes so undiagnosed. One of eight B vitamins, Vitamin B12 has two major functions. First, it is essential in helping the normal functioning of the nervous system (including the brain) proceed unhindered. Secondly, it aids in the process of blood formation, specifically red blood cells. Obviously, these are vital body functions, so why is it so easy for individuals to have low levels of B12? For starters, many doctors do not routinely test for the condition. However, the largest reason B12 deficiency is so underdiagnosed is because many experts feel that the laboratory reference range of normal levels goes too low. This means that many individuals with B12 deficiency are being told that their levels are simply on the low end of normal.
As low levels of Vitamin B12 can result in a serious form of anemia, it is best not to let the condition develop and worsen. This anemia can lead to several complications, such as diarrhea. In the long term, if left untreated, this anemia can even lead to permanent nerve damage. In fact, Vitamin B12 shots are also used in the treatment of other disorders that often coincide with anemia, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Beyond correcting a deficiency, individuals are given Vitamin B12 injections for several other purposes. Perhaps the most common reason is to aid in weight loss. Recipients claim that the shots lead to an increased level of energy and even a metabolism boost. Both of these will help in weight loss. Of course, they must be used alongside healthy eating and exercise patterns. However, if you’ve ever struggled to find the energy to get up off the couch, Vitamin B12 shots add in that necessary kick of energy.