What does B12 Shot Do for Your Body?

What does B12 Shot Do for Your Body?
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Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient that our body needs for healthy nervous system, brain, and blood cell functions. It also helps your cells make energy and synthesize fatty acids and your DNA. Most people get enough vitamin B12 in their daily diet from foods like dairy, eggs, meat, supplements, and foods that are fortified with B vitamins. You may at some time need vitamin B12 supplementation and even B12 shots in severe cases. They may be used to help you have more energy, increase metabolism to burn more fat, or elevate your moods.

When do You Need B12 Shots?

Vitamin B12 shots are usually given for a severe B12 deficiency. For mild to moderate cases of deficiency, oral supplementation may work to bring levels back to normal. There are some health circumstances where B12 shots may be needed. These are:

  • History of weight loss surgery: Weight loss surgery and stomach stapling remove the part of the digestive system that absorbs vitamin B12 from the food you eat.
  • Vegan or vegetarian diets: Since B12 is not found in plant sources, vegans and vegetarians may be severely deficient in B12. Supplementation orally usually keeps levels in an acceptable range, but severe deficiencies are still possible.
  • Celiac and Crohn’s disease: Certain bowel conditions like celiac and Crohn’s disease can hamper absorption of certain vitamins including, vitamin B12. If you have a digestive disorder, you may wonder “What does B12 shot do for your body?” They will help bypass the areas that cannot absorb oral vitamin B12 from food or supplements.
  • Medications: Medications that lower the amount of acid your stomach produces can reduce the amount of vitamin B12 you’re able to absorb. These include acid blockers used for GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and PUD (Peptic Ulcer Disease). These medications tend to worsen the problem the older people get because aging naturally causes a decrease in stomach acids.
  • Severe mood swings: Some people that have severe mood swings or bipolar disorder have co-existing B12 deficiency. Some doctors use B12 injections to help minimize mood swings. Vitamin B12 shots are not a substitute for antidepressant medications, but may help when they are used together.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • Fatigue
  • Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Trouble walking
  • Feeling weak
  • Anemia
  • Feeling paranoid
  • Jaundice (yellow skin)
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Swollen tongue

If you have the above symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. They will take a health and medication history to see what may be causing the symptoms. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are most accurately diagnosed with a blood test for B12 levels. If you have a severe deficiency, early treatment is important to prevent nervous system complications.

What does B12 Shot Do for Your Body?

If your levels are seriously low and your doctor has recommended injections, you may wonder what B12 shots can do for your body. No one wants to ever get an injection of anything, so it is good to know how serious a B12 deficiency can be. Here is a little about what this important vitamin does:

1. Elevates Your Moods

B12 injections can help improve moods by telling your nervous system how to respond to stress. Your adrenal glands need adequate B12 to help your body manage emotional and physical stress.

2. Improves Memory and Thinking

B12 shots help to improve communication between the neurons that control your memory and thought processes.

3. Improves Fat Metabolism

Vitamin B12 helps increase your cell’s ability to turn fat into energy. It also increases your metabolism, so you in turn burn more fat.

4. Helps Circulation

B12 is important to keep your levels of homocysteine low. Homocysteine is a chemical that causes your arteries and blood vessels to become blocked.

5. Strengthens Immune System

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient to keep your immune system running smoothly. People with adequate B12 have fewer incidences of illnesses.

6. Better Sleep

B12 helps improve sleep by keeping your nervous system on top of proper circadian rhythms. That is, helping you feel tired when it’s time to sleep and rested when you wake up in the morning.

Do B12 Shots Help with Weight Loss?

Vitamin B12 shots may not directly help you lose weight, but may have an indirect effect on your metabolism. Vitamin B12 is often used as a supplement during a weight loss program. They may help you feel more energy for exercise, speed up your metabolism to burn fat, and this helps weight loss. It really only helps those who are deficient in B12 when starting a weight loss program.

If you are taking the drug, Metformin for Type 2 Diabetes you may have B12 deficiency due to the medication. This can hamper weight loss efforts to help control blood sugars. Some doctors use B12 injections along with this medication to increase the body’s ability to burn fat and carbohydrates.

Vitamin B12 injections are never an easy way to lose weight. Be careful of weight loss programs that state all you need is B12 injections for weight loss. Weight loss requires an entire regimen of healthy diet, exercise, and healthy supplements to support your body.

Will There Be Any Side Effects?

What does B12 shot do for your body? Besides the benefits it brings, there can be side-effects with B12 shots. Most are mild and include:

  • Pain and redness at the site of the injection
  • Swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Low potassium levels
  • Weakness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle cramping

The following side-effects are rare and may be associated with other conditions. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision changes
  • Slurring of speech
  • Allergic reactions (hives, face swelling, dizziness, feeling like throat is closing)

Your doctor may tell you that if you’re severely deficient, the benefits outweigh the risks. Make sure you ask your doctor to clarify for you how important it is to get the shots.