Basically your body needs B12 to make energy and it's not well-absorbed in the diet or in capsule form. Even if your Multivitamin has B12 on the label it is often not stable in this form. It is becoming more common for a client to come to my office wondering about her or his B12 levels and if a shot would help - here's some info to help you decide.
Even when the blood levels of B12 levels on standard blood work reports show within the normal range a person may benefit from a B12 injection. In my experience the serum (blood) levels aren't reflective of the tissue (body) levels and so I don't look solely at B12 levels to determine if a B12 injection is worth considering.
Who can benefit from a B12 shot and what do I look for?
Anyone can benefit from a B12 shot - as an ND I will check to see what else is going on but if there is low energy it’s something I like to rule out early on. Elderly, vegetarians, vegans and athletes are who I commonly test to see if B12 is an issue.
Symptoms or associated conditions include: low energy, fuzzy thinking, adrenal/thyroid issues, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, heavy periods, nerve like sensations, digestive issues, and PMS.
I also look at the medications a client is taking (i.e. some meds deplete B12 including the Birth Control Pill), intake of B12 rich foods in the diet along with their ability to absorb them and their CBC (if a client has had that lab work done recently). FYI - CBC=Complete Blood Count - I look at it to see where in the range their MCV level is at. MCV is the Mean Corpuscular Volume of a cell - basically how big a cell is. Since B12 is needed for cell division if it's high(i.e. bigger cell) the thinking is that this can be because B12 is low and the cell got to be a bit bigger before it divided.
Digestion and absorption can impact B12 levels as B12 is not the easiest vitamin to absorb. Levels of hydrochloric acid (secreted by the stomach)and intrinsic factor are key in absorption and for many getting their B12 levels up as we work to improve digestion is super helpful in getting their energy and motivation back up.
Age can impact the levels partly because B12 seems to becomes harder to absorb as we age.
Thyroid health affects digestion and absorption.
B12 has shown to increase reaction time and memory through action on the myelin sheath(protective coating of the nervous system).
B12 also helps maintain cardiovascular (heart) health through decreasing levels of homocysteine.
The form I use for the injections if the methylated form. Methylcobalamin. There are different forms but if you look at the Kreb’s cycle - the pathway in the body that needs B12 to produce energy (ATP) - this is the form that is used.
Women who are low on it really benefit from this - it’s pretty immediate in terms of increasing energy and clarity! (-:
Wanna give it a go?! You need to be a client first so a proper new client assessment can be done so just call the office (403) 609-8385 to book in.
Many insurance companies cover naturopathic services so be sure to check yours.