With today’s hectic lifestyles, it can sometimes be tempting to sacrifice some aspects of your health in order to achieve your goals or make life easier. However, a short-term gain can cause us even greater problems in the long run. At the Soza Clinic in Richardson, TX, our goal is to support your health holistically whatever your journey. Therapies such as vitamin B12 injections not only benefit your overall health and improve your feeling of wellbeing but can even boost your weight loss efforts.
How Often Can I Take B12 Injections?
Before we can explore this key question, we first need to delve a little deeper into the function of vitamin B12 and the different reasons people have for taking it. Vitamin B12 injections can treat a number of different health conditions, so how often you can take these injections will depend on the reasons why you need the B12 in the first place.
Vitamin B12 Overview
What Is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin required by the body in order to function properly. It is vital in a number of different biological processes. These processes include DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, energy production, nerve cell health, and general neurological function.
How Can I Tell If I Should Consider B12 Injections?
There are a number of reasons that you might wish to seek out vitamin B12 injections. You might be suffering the symptoms of B12 deficiency, or you might know that you are at increased risk of B12 deficiency as a result of hereditary factors or other health conditions.
What Factors Lead to B12 Deficiency?
Any illness or condition that affects the digestive system can result in a B12 deficiency because the vitamin is bound to the protein molecules in your food and is released and absorbed by the body during digestion. Such conditions include autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis, which all prevent the body from adequately absorbing nutrients from the intestines.
Additionally, other factors such as having had gastric bypass surgery or taking antacids long-term can lead to deficiency. This is because adequate exposure to stomach acid is needed to help the body absorb B12.
You are also significantly more likely to suffer from B12 deficiency if you practice a vegan diet and lifestyle. This is because there are few vegan foods that contain B12 and also because the body finds it significantly more difficult to absorb B12 from the few vegan sources that have it. Many foods are fortified with artificial vitamin B12, such as non-dairy milks and cereals, but these are not always optimally absorbed, so vegans must still be proactive about making sure they are not becoming deficient.
You are more likely to be B12 deficient if you are over the age of 65, as the body becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients as you go on in life.
Symptoms of a B12 Deficiency
Initially, the symptoms of B12 deficiency can be difficult to notice. Some of the most common symptoms are easily confused with general tiredness, diet change, lifestyle change, or weight loss. These include fatigue and lethargy, feeling irritable, faintness, and headache.
However, some symptoms are more noticeable, such as memory issues, difficulty maintaining your balance, mouth ulcers, a sore, swollen tongue, and heart palpitations. If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, or a number of these symptoms together, then you should not delay in consulting with us.
How Are B12 Injections Administered?
Vitamin B12 is either injected under the skin or into muscle tissue. There are two types of synthetic B12. Synthetic B12 is simply the name for the vitamin when it is not found naturally in food. These two types are cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin.
These two forms of B12 have the same effects but have their own different strengths in different situations. We will discuss with you the most suitable method of injection and type of B12 for your needs during your initial consultation.
How Often Can I Take B12 Injections?
The frequency of your treatments will vary depending on your reasons for taking B12 injections and your levels of B12 when you begin the treatment. Your vitamin B12 levels can be easily determined by a simple blood test, and this test will help your doctor decide what level of treatment is suitable for your health needs.
For B12 Deficiency
If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, the initial dose is usually 30mcg injected under the skin or into the muscle every day for between 5 and 10 days to boost levels of B12 quickly. For maintenance, it is common to have monthly therapy of 100-200 mcg.
For Pernicious Anemia
If you are diagnosed as suffering from pernicious anemia-associated B12 deficiency, the initial dosing will be significantly higher. There are several different dosing regimens for this type of B12 therapy.
B12 may be injected into a muscle or under the skin at 100 mcg daily for a week, every other day for another week, and then every three or four days for a month. Thereafter, 100 mcg should be injected once a month for life. Another dosing recommendation begins with 1000 mcg daily for the first seven to 10 days, then 1000 mcg weekly for a month, followed by 1000 mcg monthly for life.
For Hereditary B12 Malabsorption
If you suffer from Imerslund-Grasbeck disease, your vitamin B12 malabsorption will be treated with hydroxocobalamin injected into the muscle at a dose of 10 mg per day for 10 days followed by monthly injections for life.
For Nerve Damage
B12 can be injected under the skin to help heal areas affected by nerve damage caused by illnesses such as shingles. In such cases, 1000 mcg of B12 is injected into the area, often preceded by a numbing agent such as thiamin or lidocaine.
For Other Conditions
Other reasons for taking B12 injections should be discussed with our doctors, who will help you find the right dosage for you in order to best fit your own health needs and goals. It is worth noting that although these are the common dosages and frequencies for B12 injections, that does not mean that they are set in stone. Each of us is unique, and your perfect dosage is something you’ll determine in consultation with the doctor.
How Often Should I Take Maintenance B12 Injections?
Once your B12 levels have risen and you are feeling better, you may wish to discuss the frequency of your maintenance therapy with us. Some people find that they prefer to have smaller quantities of B12 injected weekly or fortnightly, and others would rather take larger doses of B12 monthly.
It should also be noted that there is no report of B12 toxicity. This means that it is not possible to overdose on vitamin B12, and as far as we know there is no upper limit on the amount of B12 that can be taken safely by an otherwise healthy person.
Benefits of B12 Injections
You will see the benefits of B12 injections in almost all areas of your health and wellbeing. You should notice your physical health improving and gains in strength and endurance. You should experience less fatigue, enhanced energy levels, and fewer aches and pains. You should also see an improvement in your mood and mental health; you are likely to be less depressed and anxious and will have better memory and mental acuity.
If you were suffering any neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency, such as tingling or numbness in your extremities, then you should notice a reduction of these symptoms as the B12 helps to repair the damaged nerves. You may also notice an improvement in coordination and balance.
Vitamin B12 promotes the growth of healthy skin cells and repairs damage to the skin. It also helps to regulate the production of pigment in the skin, meaning that you will have a more even skin tone and fewer dark spots. In addition, your metabolism will be enhanced, which may promote greater fitness as well as weight loss.
Who Can’t Have B12 Injections?
There are almost no circumstances under which a course of B12 injections would not be beneficial to your health. Nevertheless, there are a few cases in which they may not be suitable for you.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may not be suitable for B12 injections, but it is still safe for you and your baby if you take a limited dose of B12 orally. The recommended dose for pregnant women is 2.6mcg per day and 2.8mcg per day for breastfeeding mothers. If you have received a coronary stent, you should consult with your clinician before having B12 injections as certain interactions between B12 and other vitamin supplements can increase the risk of blood vessel narrowing.
If you are allergic to cobalt, you should not take vitamin B12, as vitamin B12 contains a cobalt molecule. Though allergies to cobalt are rarely dangerous, taking any form of B12 supplement, whether by injection, tablet, or topically applied gel, may result in an uncomfortable, itchy rash.
If you are not sure if you may be affected by any of these conditions, don’t worry. During your initial consultation with our doctor, you will discuss your medical history in order to assess whether there could be any risk factors that would make it inadvisable to take B12 injections. However, these are rare, and for the vast majority of the population, B12 injections can do nothing but good.
What Do I Do If I Can’t Have B12 Injections?
If you are not able to have B12 injections, you may be suitable for treatment with B12 tablets or other forms of B12 supplements. If you are mildly B12 deficient but are otherwise in good health, you may be able to raise your B12 levels with a few simple dietary adjustments.
Vitamin B12 can be found in various foods, especially in dairy products such as milk and cheese and in red meat and fish. In addition, various vegan-friendly foods such as nutritional yeast and B12-enriched soy products can help to raise your body’s B12 levels.
Learn More and Get Started
As you can see, B12 is a vitamin that you cannot do without. Deficiency causes multiple problems, but adequate or excess B12 provides nothing but benefits to your energy, strength, and mental sharpness.
If you suspect that you are B12 deficient or think that you might benefit from a course of B12 injections, then don’t hesitate. Contact us at the Soza Clinic in Richardson, TX to book an appointment where one of our qualified personnel will be happy to discuss your needs.