Are there days that you feel as if your energy levels are very low and look for a quick fix? You are not alone, as it happens to many people. You are likely to feel fatigued and unable to tackle your daily activities when your energy levels are low. Your brain may also feel foggy, which makes it hard to concentrate on simple tasks that you handle daily. People with low energy levels also tend to feel sleepy, which negatively impacts their productivity. B12 shots are one of the recommendations that many people get when they want to replenish their energy levels.
Image by Arek Socha
What are the B12 shots?
B12 shots are simply derived from Vitamin B12. It is a water-soluble vitamin that supports various body functions such as DNA synthesis, the formation of red blood cells, and nerve regeneration. That explains why B12 shots are used to fight fatigue, enhance athletic performance, and also comes in handy one wants to beat hectic schedules.
B12 exists in various forms. It contains cobalt, a mineral, and that explains why you will find some people calling Vitamin B12 shots cobalamins. It is the vitamin responsible for the production of energy needed in your body.
What are the causes of B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the body, as you can already see. The recommended daily intake is 6 micrograms. Most people end-up with low B12 levels when they transition to plant-based foods. Strict vegetarians and people who have conditions that restrict the number of nutrients they absorb are the most common patients of B12 deficiency. However, there are other causes, such as:
- Poor diet
- High-stress levels
- Lack of B12 sources in the diet
- Some medications such as those used to treat heartburn
- Eating a vegan diet
- Having certain gastrointestinal disorders
- Removal of parts of the stomach or gastric bypass
- Smoking and alcohol abuse
- Endocrine-related autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disorder or diabetes
What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?
Anemia, a situation whereby the number of healthy red blood cells is low, is the main symptom for people who are B12 deficient. Mild deficiencies of B12 may not show any symptoms. Some of the major symptoms include:
- Pale skin
- Weakness and fatigue
- Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, gas, and constipation
- Muscle weakness
- Heart palpitations
- Mental health issues such as behavioral changes and depression
- Tingling feeling in the muscles
Why get B12 shots?
Boost energy levels
Most people can get B12 in animal products such as meat, poultry, milk, milk products, eggs, and fish. B12 is not generally present in most plant foods. However, there are some fortified cereals that are rich in B12. The main challenge with foods is that they do not provide an instant energy boost.
B12 comes in different forms such as tablets, shots, and fortified foods. The good thing with shots is that they help the nutrients get to the bloodstream direct. These shots bypass the stomach and get absorbed directly into the bloodstream. It is thus an awesome option for those with gastrointestinal issues when compared to oral options. It is also beneficial for older adults who have an intrinsic factor or low levels of stomach acid.
B12 shots are essential for those feeling low or drained as they provide instant relief. People who have B12 deficiency or those with symptoms can take such shots. Having the shots administered by a qualified physician is the best approach as New Medical Spa’s Theresa Camden advises.
Several studies have linked low levels of B12 to depression. A review done indicated that B12 does not reduce the severity of depression symptoms. However, the same study found out that taking B12 in the long term can help prevent relapse into depression that happens in most people.
Prevent age-Related Macular Degeneration
It is a condition whereby one usually loses the central vision. It can affect one eye or both. Consuming B12 comes in handy for people above 50 years as it protects against macular degeneration and thus maintains good vision. A large study was conducted on 5,200 women who were given 1000mcg of B12 daily, among other vitamins. The same women were examined 7 years later where it was found out that the chances of suffering from macular degeneration had been lowered by 35%.
Improves brain health
On top of helping to fight depression, B12 comes is also essential for proper brain functioning. It has essentially proved very vital in the fight against the loss of neurons. It thus means that it reduces the risk of suffering from memory loss or dementia. Research indicates that people with low levels of B12 are at higher risk of suffering from memory loss when compared to those who have normal levels.
Where is B12 injected?
Most shots are done on the upper buttocks. However, some nurses will prefer to use the shoulder. The physician will place Band-Aid during the injection. The injection is not painful but can make your hip feel soar for several hours after the shot.
Are there risks associated with B12 shots?
Overdose or risk of toxicity associated with intake of B12 is extremely low. However, B12 shots may come with some potential risks and mild side effects that can be referred to a doctor if they worsen or persist. Some of the risks include:
- Itching, redness, and pain at the site of injection
- Mild diarrhea
- Muscle cramps
- Swelling sensation in the body
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling of the feet or ankles
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
The following are some of the symptoms that demand immediate medical attention:
- Itching and swelling of the tongue, face, or throat
- Severe dizziness
- Slurred speech
- Breathing difficulties
- Sudden vision changes
It is evident that B12 shots are very effective when one is looking for a quick fix for energy. B12 shots are safe and have no major side effects. However, some people may end up with side effects caused by sensitivity or allergic reactions, even though it is very rare. If this happens, then the patient should consult a qualified physician.