On Monday, I performed my first vitamin B12 injection.
Importance: Vitamin B12 is super important for cell metabolism, DNA synthesis, neuron function, and more. If you are deficient in vitamin B12 you may feel fatigued, weak, experience brain fog or poor memory, suffer from constipation, asthma attacks (in asthmatics), have a sore tongue or canker sores, and/or decreased (numbness) or increased body sensations (tremors or tingling).
Supplementation Means: If you are supplementing, aim for sub-lingual tablets (i.e. pills that you place under the tongue until dissolved) or vitamin B12 injections. These two supplementation forms ensure that vitamin B12 is well-absorbed by the body because they enter the blood stream more efficiently than swallowing a tablet that needs to go through the entire digestive tract before it is absorbed.
Injections: Naturopathic doctors can provide vitamin B12 injections. They are very expensive and minimally painful. You simply get an injection into the deltoid muscle on the shoulder (that big muscle on the side of the shoulder). Some people get injections weekly, biweekly, monthly, or on a as-needed basis depending on their needs. Most people feel a sudden surge of energy after receiving an injection! Vitamin B12 is the energy vitamin, so this makes sense.
Who should supplement with B12? People with pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disorder) need regular vitamin B12 supplementation as they are lacking intrinsic factor, a molecule that helps with B12 absorption. Vegans and vegetarians need to supplement. People with asthma may benefit greatly. And of course those who through a medical intake, present with the symptoms of B12 deficiency. Simple blood work can also detect low levels. The elderly may also benefit.
Parting Words: Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your vitamin B12 levels. Also of note, vitamin B12 is a beautiful, bright red color, so the fluid injected into the muscle and the tablets you take sub-lingual, should be both red. Don't worry, there aren't any dyes or artificial colors; that gorgeous color is all natural!