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How Quickly Does B12 Shot Work? Does It Help to Lose Weight?

Vitamin B12 shots work right away and your body will begin to manufacture new red blood cells as early as 48 hours so you will feel the effect in two or three days. B12 injections work faster than oral supplements of B12 and therefore, are recommended for individuals who need quick improvement.

What Is Vitamin B12?

Also called cobalamin, vitamin B12 plays a very important part in many critical body functions. Our bodies do not produce vitamin B12, and these “B” vitamins are water-soluble so our body does not store them either. B12 needs to be supplied to our bodies daily either through our diet or supplements.

Why Is Vitamin B12 Important?

  • Vitamin B12 fosters red blood cell formation, aids in nerve function, the metabolism of the cells, and the creation of DNA.
  • It is also essential in turning carbohydrates into glucose and keeps the nervous system running smoothly.
  • Vitamin B12 helps decrease homocysteine levels in the blood which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. It helps with memory and deficiencies that are linked to depression.
  • Vitamin B12 works with folate and produces a compound S-adenosylmethionine that creates and regulates hormones, helps regulate moods and the immune system.
  • It also helps keep nails, skin, and hair healthy.

What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

The root cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be one of several things. Vitamin B12 is absorbed by the body during the digestive process and requires a protein that is made by the stomach called the intrinsic factor. This protein must be present to combine with B12 in order for our bodies to absorb and use it.

Some individuals may have problems producing this protein due to genetics, age, chronic gastritis, autoimmune conditions, or bariatric surgery. Since vitamin B12 is derived from animal-based sources, individuals who do not eat meat or animal byproducts can experience deficiencies if they do not use supplemental sources.

What Happens When You Are Vitamin B12 Deficient?

When the body is deficient in vitamin B12, it cannot produce the number of healthy red blood cells for the body to function properly. The red blood cells’ job is to transport oxygen to many other parts of the body. A large reduction of red blood cells means that essential oxygen is not getting to all the tissues and organs that need it. This can lead to different kinds of anemia, fatigue, weakness, tingling in the fingers and toes, numbness, irregular heartbeat, mood swings, shortness of breath, very pale skin, memory loss, confusion, and more.

What Is the Best Way to Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiencies?

Vitamin B12 Supplements

Depending upon the reason for the vitamin B12 deficiency, It may be treated through oral supplements or injections. Some individuals who have deficiencies caused by lack of absorption during digestion respond better to vitamin B12 injections as they are absorbed directly into the body.

Diet Rich in Vitamin B12

Good sources of vitamin B12 are eggs, poultry, fish, meat, milk, etc. It does not naturally occur in plant-based foods so vegetarians can find it in some breakfast cereals or use B12 oral supplements or B12 injections.

FAQs about B12 Injections

1. Are Oral Supplements or B12 Injections Better?

Studies have shown that oral supplements of B12 and injections both offer effective treatment of deficiencies. B12 shots are more easily absorbed into the body and do not require taking an oral supplement daily. If the patient has an autoimmune disease or another condition that prevents the stomach from making “intrinsic factor”, then Vitamin B12 injections may be a better option.

2. Do You Need a Prescription For B12 Injections?

You do not need a prescription for most vitamin B12 injections. For patients with severe cases of anemia or B12 vitamin deficiencies, a form of vitamin B12 called Hydroxocobalamin is sometimes used and does require a prescription.

3. Is There More Than One Type of Vitamin B12?

Yes, in fact, vitamin B12 exists in four chemical forms that are very similar. These forms are:

  1. Adenosylcobalamin;
  2. Methylcobalamin;
  3. Hydroxocobalamin;
  4. Cyanocobalamin.

Two coenzymes that work together Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalamin are naturally found in some animal-based food sources. They work together to make sure your body has enough vitamin B12.

Hydroxocobalamin is naturally created in the digestive tract by bacteria when food is being broken down and contributes to the creation of DNA. For purposes of B12 injections, It is manufactured in a laboratory and used to treat or alleviate anemia caused by B12 vitamin deficiency. It is only available for prescription use and is administered by injection or, in severe cases, an IV drip.

Cyanocobalamin is a man-made form of Vitamin B12 and is the most commonly used in supplements and fortified foods. It is converted by the body into Adenosylcobalamin and Methylcobalamin so they can be absorbed.

4. What Type of Vitamin B12 Is Used in Non-Prescription Injections?

The two most widely used vitamin B12 shots contain either man-made Cyanocobalamin or naturally occurring Methylcobalamin and do not require a prescription.

5. How Quickly Does the B12 Shot Work?

B12 vitamin shots begin working right away and your body will begin to manufacture new red blood cells as early as 48 hours. Patients who have a severe deficiency will notice the results earlier than patients with a mild deficiency. B12 shots work faster than oral sources of B12 and therefore are recommended for individuals who need rapid improvement.

6. How Soon Will I Feel Less Tired after A B12 Injection?

Injections of B12 work rapidly and are the most effective way to treat a deficiency. Typically, B12 injections begin working immediately and the body will begin making new red blood cells within 72 hours. Many people feel the effect of vitamin B12 injections in as little as two or three days. But usually, a series of treatments provide the most noticeable benefits. Patients reported feeling much more energized after a 3-month schedule of B12 injections.

7. Can B12 Shots Help to Lose Weight?

B12 injections can be very beneficial to weight loss patients, especially during the beginning of their weight loss journey. Most patients who are overcoming unhealthy eating habits historically have not been consuming adequate amounts of foods that contain important B vitamins that help fuel energy levels and work to keep the metabolic system functioning properly.

Also, after weight loss surgery, patients are on a very restricted diet and adjusting to a reduction in stomach capacity making it difficult to ingest all the nutritional supplements required. A deficit in these B vitamins can make individuals sluggish, chronically tired, and can also hinder weight loss efforts.

B12 injections not only contain the much-needed B12, but also a formulation of lipotropic which are compounds that help break down and metabolize fat. These much-needed vitamins and minerals can be introduced into the body quickly and easily without having to be ingested.

When combined with the proper diet and physical activity B12 shots can help enhance weight loss efforts and boost energy levels.

8. Are B12 Vitamin Injections Safe During Pregnancy?

Vitamin B12, in its natural form, is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vitamin B12 is essential during pregnancy to help the formation of red blood cells in the mother but also helps protect the central nervous system and spine of the baby. Pregnant women who are strict vegans or vegetarians are at an increased risk for deficiencies.

9. How Much Vitamin B12 Is too Much?

Many people want to know if you can overdose on vitamin B12 or if there is such a thing as too much vitamin B12. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin and your body uses just what it needs at that time and eliminates the excess through the body’s normal waste process, it cannot build up in your system. There has not been a UL (upper intake level) established for B12 because it is not stored in your body and therefore, can not build up enough to cause serious adverse side effects for most people. That being said, it may cause severe side effects if an allergy is present or if the individual is also taking certain medications.

10. How Long Will It Take to Correct a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency recovery can take time, six to twelve months, but with ongoing supplements, improvement should be gradual. B12 shots are more easily and quickly absorbed into the body and may be used initially to correct a serious deficiency.

Some patients must continue to take supplements or receive injections for life depending on the reason for the deficiency. However, symptoms should greatly improve or be alleviated with the continued use of supplements.

11. Are There Side Effects Associated with B12 Shots?

In general, serious side effects from B12 injections are rare but in some cases, people may experience a few mild ones including pain, redness, or bruising at the site of injection. Some patients also experience mild diarrhea, swelling, or itching. Normally, these symptoms quickly resolve and are nothing to be concerned about; however, if they get worse or continue, you should contact your doctor or a healthcare provider. In rare cases, other serious side effects can occur, including anaphylaxis. A consultation to discuss your medical history, as well as family medical history, is advised prior to receiving B12 injections.

12. Where Can I Get a Vitamin B12 Shot in Atlanta, Georgia?

Some pharmacies administer B12 injections as well as doctors and wellness centers. It is important to choose a qualified healthcare professional trained in administering vitamin B12 shots.

If you are based in Atlanta, GA, and interested in Vitamin B12 injections or willing to learn more about the benefits they provide, please set up a consultation at SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics today.

Dr. Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer Vitamin B12 injections for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Buckhead, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more about B12 injections, contact us to schedule a consultation.

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