Low levels of Vitamin B12 can contribute to many conditions that look like something else. For example, B12 deficiency can lead to a loss of sensation in your hands and feet, which may lead to a fall. Low levels of B12 can impact your balance and your ability to concentrate. Finally, it can make you short of breath and limit your physical activities.
B12 deficiency becomes more of a risk as we age. Getting a blood test is the first step in managing a B12 deficiency and injections can help you get on top of the condition. How often can I get a B12 shot? One of the frustrations of those trying to be healthier is that switching to a vegetarian diet or undergoing weight loss surgery can contribute to a B12 deficiency. The physical symptoms of B12 deficiency can be quite confusing and may be hard to track.
There is a great disconnect between the symptoms, including
- constipation and low appetite
- pale skin and low energy
- dizziness and balance problems
- tingling in hands and feet
If you get bloodwork done and find that you have a B12 deficiency, you may need daily injections to start. As your levels come up, you may be able to switch to a weekly shot. Finally, once your levels are stable, a monthly injection may be enough.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are quite sneaky. You may not notice that your levels are low; if you live in snow country, you may grow pale each winter. If you’re unable to get outdoors and exercise, you may think it’s normal to be dizzy when you stand up. Worse, B12 deficiency can impact your ability to make good decisions. Discuss your concerns with your medical team if you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of B12 deficiency, including
- cognitive challenges
- poor appetite
- uncontrollable mood changes
Because B12 can have such a large impact on your ability to retain memories and make decisions, it is critical that you get on top of this deficiency and get on a program of either supplements or shots. One of the big problems with trying to take oral B12 supplements instead of getting an injection is that you may have a hard time absorbing B12. In fact, unless you are a strict vegetarian, you should be able to get enough B12 through your dietary choices. However, your ability to absorb B12 through your food choices can be limited by
- ulcers in the stomach or intestines
- liver damage
- autoimmune challenges
Additionally, an aging gut will lose the ability to absorb many nutrients over time. Be aware that your initial round of B12 injections may not be entirely comfortable. This supplement needs to be injected into your muscle. If it goes into your bloodstream, it may be passed through the body and sent out through your urine via the kidneys. To properly care for the injection site, make sure that you elevate the injected arm or leg and keep an eye on it. You may need to ice the site if you notice a lot of soreness and inflammation. Gentle movement can also help. You may eventually learn to do your own injections once your blood levels are stabilized. It is crucial that you care for the injection site as instructed; B12 deficiency can have a serious impact on your immune system and your ability to fight infections. If you need daily injections to start, you will have several sites to monitor until your immune system is rebuilt and stronger. Supporting your cleansing organs once you start your B12 injections is critical. If you get to a place where you are effectively absorbing it into your liver, excessive B12 will be shed via waste. Drinking plenty of water as you go through your initial round of injections will help a great deal. Vitamin B12 shots can protect your heart, brain and lungs. Your extremities will thank you, and when your sense of balance returns to normal, you can engage in more of the activities necessary to stay strong and limber. Ready to get started? Call us today at 205-352-9141.