The Skinny on B12 Injections
The vitamin’s deficiency can cause myriad problems
By Dr. Kelly Collins, Owner of Premier Wellness & Aglow Med Spa
B12 deficiency isn’t a rare or mysterious disease. It’s written about in almost every medical textbook. B12 deficiency is far more common than most health care practitioners and the general public realize.
Data from a Tufts University study suggests that 40% of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have plasma B12 levels in the low normal range — a range at which many experience neurological symptoms.
B12 deficiency has been estimated to affect about 40% of people older than age 60. Because of those statistics, it is entirely possible that at least some of the symptoms we attribute to “normal” aging—such as memory loss, cognitive decline, and decreased mobility — are at least in part caused by a B12 deficiency.
B12 deficiency is underdiagnosed in the United States for two reasons. First, most physicians do not routinely test B12 levels. Second, the low end of the laboratory reference range is too low. Because of this, often times people exhibit signs of deficiency even if their lab results show them to be “within normal range.”
This is why most studies underestimate true levels of deficiency. Many deficient people have so-called “normal” levels of B12.
Low levels of B12 are associated with a variety of psychological and behavioral symptoms including signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis and mental illness.
Common B12 deficiency signs and sym
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Brain fog, confusion and memory problems
- Premature aging
- Cognitive decline
Who is at Risk?
In general, the following groups are at greatest risk for a deficiency:
- Vegetarians and vegans
- People aged 60 or older
- People who regularly use PPIs or acid-suppressing drugs
- People on diabetes drugs like metformin
- People with digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac or irritable bowel syndrome.
People who are deficient in Vitamin B12 are often prescribed B12 injections. This method of delivery is very effective in quickly reversing or preventing deficiencies because it allows for 100% absorption of the B12 to occur.
Vitamin B12 injections are also popular for reasons other than B12 deficiencies. In fact, lots of people make them apart of their lifestyle and wellness routines.
Benefits of B12 injections include:
- Increase in energy levels
- Decrease in feelings of fatigue
- Increase in metabolism
- Elevation in mood, decrease in feelings of depression
- Anxiety and stress support
- Increased concentration
- Immune system boosting
- Support weight loss and metabolism of fat
- Help decrease or slow down loss of hair
If you suspect you have a deficiency, the first step is to get tested. You will need an accurate baseline for your health care provider to work from.
If you are B12 deficient, the next step is to identify the mechanism causing the deficiency. You’ll probably need help from a medical practitioner for this part. Once the mechanism is identified, the appropriate form (injection, oral, sublingual or nasal) of supplementation, the dose and the length of treatment can be selected.
If you are a healthy adult and think you could benefit from any of the benefits of B12 injection, try weekly or bi-weekly shots for one month and if you see positive results, continue with the injections on a schedule that is recommended by your health care provider.
So, next time you or someone you know is “having a senior moment,” remember: It might not be “just normal aging.” It could actually be a sign of a B12 deficiency.