Vitamin B12 is an important component of a healthy diet, contributing to the functioning of the brain, nerves and blood cells. While everyone requires this vitamin for healthy functioning, pregnant women and nursing mothers require somewhat more than average.Vitamin B12 is found naturally in many foods, including fish, seafood, liver, beef and dairy products and is added as a supplement to foods like cereals, to help ensure proper nutrition.
The vitamin, which may also be produced in the laboratory, is usually injected into the muscle of the thigh, upper arm or hip when necessary. Dosage and frequency of injections varies depending on the patient's condition.
Reasons for Vitamin B12 Injections
There are many reasons vitamin B12 injections may be prescribed or recommended. In some cases, patients may be deficient in the vitamin and suffering symptoms, while in others, B12 may be considered potentially helpful in preventing or treating certain conditions.
Vitamin B12 Deficiencies
Vitamin B12 is necessary for patients with a low serum level of vitamin B12 because they take particular medications or because they suffer from:
- Pernicious anemia
- Gastrointestinal or autoimmune disorders
Patients may also have low levels of vitamin B12 if they have had bariatric surgery, are strict vegetarians, or have used antacids or proton pump inhibitors for a prolonged period. Vitamin B12 deficiency is also more frequently found in individuals of advanced age.
Conditions Vitamin B12 Prevents or Improves
Vitamin B12 is believed to be helpful in preventing or improving the following conditions:
- Memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, or other dementia
- Fatigue or lack of concentration
- Weakened immune system
- Heart, kidney and liver disease
- Allergies or asthma
- Skin disorders
- Lyme disease
As an alternative to being injected with vitamin B12 for these conditions, patients are sometimes offered B12 supplements to be taken orally or applied as nasal gels. In many cases, though, patients' disorders prevent them from absorbing the B12 unless it is administered by injection.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency results in symptoms common to a variety of disorders, so blood work and other diagnostic testing may be necessary to rule out other problems. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Intestinal disorders and weight loss
- Fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness
- Memory loss or confusion
- Depression or dementia
- Rapid heartbeat and respiration
- Mouth or tongue soreness or bleeding
- Excessive bruising
Injections are the most effective means of administration of vitamin B12 since they do not depend on the body's ability to absorb the substance through the gastrointestinal tract. Although vitamin B12 injections can increase energy and improve quality of life for individuals with a deficiency, patients whose vitamin B12 levels are normal will not have improved health from this treatment.
Am I a Good Candidate for B12 Injection?
At Seattle Beauty we treat every procedure we perform on our patients and clients like a medical procedure you would undergo at a doctor’s office or hospital. We recommend an consultation which allows us to do a thorough intake, answer all your questions and concerns, and insure you are a proper candidate.
Is a B12 Injection Painful?
B12 injections can be administered either under the skin or into the muscle. Similar to most other injections, a B12 injection might hurt for a few seconds as the needle enters the skin. However, this discomfort is very short-lived, and usually, all patients are able to remain comfortable for the duration of the treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects of B12 Injections?
Some common side effects of the B12 injection include swelling at the injection site, itching, or headaches. Some patients may also experience mild diarrhea, dizziness, and hot flashes. However, these symptoms typically disappear within one to two days as the body gets accustomed to absorbing the B12 vitamins.
How Can I Tell if My B12 Injections Are Working?
While most patients can notice changes in their energy levels and their body within two days of their B12 injection treatment, one way to track your progress and improvement is to make notes daily on whether your B12 deficiency symptoms have improved. Blood tests monitored by your doctor may also be given to determine the exact improvement of B12 levels in your blood.
How Long Do the Benefits of a B12 Injection Last?
Patients may begin to notice the effects of their vitamin B12 injection within two to three days. Frequent, consistent use of B12 injections will help produce the most noticeable results.
What Are the Recovery Guidelines After a B12 Injection?
After getting your B12 injections, you may experience slight irritation, discomfort, or swelling at the injection site. Avoid touching the area as much as possible while you recover. We also recommended avoiding alcohol for the first 48 hours after your treatment. Foods that are processed, high in sugar, or high in caffeine can also block the body from absorbing B12 completely. Avoiding these foods and sticking to a clean diet may help patients feel the effects of their B12 treatment faster.
Schedule a Consultation for B12 Injections in Seattle, WA
At Seattle Beauty, Dr. Desiree Wood, Dr. Keri Brown, and our highly-trained team are dedicated to helping patients look and feel their best. If you want to learn more about B12 injections, click here to book a one-on-one consultation, or call 206-939-7913 to reach our office in Seattle, WA.