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Vitamin B12 shots

What is B12?

B12 is a group of cobalt-containing compounds, collectively called “cobalamins”.  For example, methylcobalamin is a coenzyme form of vitamin B12 that plays a role in metabolism. While cyanocobalamin is a synthetic compound used in many nutritional supplements. Cyanocobalamin needs to be converted before it becomes active.

 

What does B12 do?

Vitamin B12 participates in DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, Homocysteine metabolism, and synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).

It may play a role in the prevention and treatment of anxiety, depression, postpartum depression, infertility, fatigue,  and weight management.

 

B12 Absorption

In food, B12 is usually bound to protein. It gets released from the protein by stomach acid and pepsin. It then binds to intrinsic factor before being absorbed into the bloodstream. If stomach acid is comprised (ie. if you are taking a proton pump inhibitor like omeprazole), then you are at a high risk of developing a deficiency of this vitamin.

Signs of B12 Deficiency

  • Weak muscles
  • Numb or tingling feeling in hands and feet
  • Trouble walking
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Lack of energy or tiring easily (fatigue)
  • Diarrhea
  • Smooth and tender tongue
  • Fast heart rate

Risk Factors for B12 Deficiency

  • A family history
  • Having part or all of your stomach or intestine removed
  • Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Acid reducing medicines (ie. proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole)
  • Strict vegetarian diets
  • Being an older adult
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • HIV
  • Chronic gastritis

 

Should I get B12 shots?

Once we understand your baseline B12 levels, we can administer B12 injections to increase your uptake and get you feeling better, faster.

This is super helpful for those with deficiencies and especially for a subset of people with disorders like depression who may have normal blood levels of B12 but subnormal or undetectable levels of the vitamin in their cerebral spinal fluid (indicating that they have a problem absorbing B12 across the blood brain barrier and into the brain tissue).

If, after taking your case at our initial consult, I suspect this may be helpful to you, we can do a trial of 3 weekly B12 injections and monitor for symptoms to your mood.

Book your initial appointment with Dr. Bozinovski by calling 416 214 0100.

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