An astonishing 86% of Americans take vitamins or other nutritional supplements. If you’re one of them, you may be flushing money down the toilet. When you eat a vitamin, all of the nutrients in the supplement have to pass through your gut. Bioavailability for different nutrients varies, but you typically only get less than 15% of the benefits from supplements you take. At Thrive Wellness Now in Oak Brook, IL, we offer something better – B12 injections.
What Do B12 Injections Do for You?
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is required to produce red blood cells in your body. Without an adequate level of this water-soluble vitamin, your body would be unable to metabolize fatty acids or amino acids efficiently. Some symptoms of low B12 in the body include anemia, confusion, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lethargy or depression.
B12 injections provide you with a dose of vitamin B12 that is far more bioavailable than vitamin B12 that you ingest. Since it bypasses the digestive tract with IV therapy, you get more benefits from the vitamin than you would get if you simply increased your consumption of foods with vitamin B12. Here are some of the many benefits you could get from these injections.
Have you found yourself at a weight loss plateau? If so, B12 injections may be right for you. This vitamin will break through any plateau you are experiencing and kick your weight loss into a higher gear.
B12 is an important component of weight loss because the micronutrient can assist in metabolizing protein and fat stored in the body and turning these resources into energy. When fat is more quickly metabolized, it’s easier to lose weight and stop storing additional fat from sugars and carbohydrate-converted sugars.
B12 is widely known for its ability to help increase overall energy – but many people incorrectly assume this is because the vitamin gives your body a jolt, not unlike a caffeine fix. The truth, however, is that when you restore your B12 levels, your body begins to increase the production of red blood cells in your body, which allows your body to transport more oxygen to your cells so that your cells can function properly. The increase in red blood cells will also correct the causes of blood anemia, which will improve feelings of poor concentration and fatigue.
B12 deficiency is associated with difficulty producing white blood cells, which are the footsoldiers in your body’s immune system. Without enough white blood cells, your body is unable to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other infections. However, when enough B12 is present in your body, your body will begin to produce enough white blood cells to make your immune system more responsive and efficient.
Although vitamin B12 is associated with increasing energy, it’s also associated with improving your sleep – specifically, improving your ability to fall asleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps your body fall asleep naturally, but in order to synthesize this amino acid, your body requires enough B12 to create certain building blocks. When you increase the amount of B12 in your body, your body will more easily be able to produce tryptophan and your sleep patterns (and quality) will improve.
How Often Should You Have a B12 Shot?
How often you should have this treatment will depend on the degree of your B12 deficiency and whether or not this deficiency is chronic. For example, those who are running low on B12 due to stress or other factors may only require B12 shots once every few weeks in order to naturally restore the body’s level of B12. However, for those who have a natural chronic B12 deficiency, you may require B12 injections once a month to maintain the right level of B12 in your body.
If you aren’t sure if you have a natural B12 deficiency, there are certain labs and exams that can be done to determine the natural storage of B12 in your body. One of the hallmarks of chronic B12 deficiency is blood anemia, specifically due to abnormally large red blood cells that are overcompensating in order to carry more oxygen through the body.
How Long Do the Results of B12 Injections Last?
The results of your B12 injections will typically last for a short amount of time. Most people experience the largest burst in energy and concentration for the first three to five days after a B12 shot. During this time, B12 is absorbed into your body and put to work quickly, so you are likely to notice greater appetite and an easier time falling asleep within the first week of your treatment.
However, this burst of energy efficiency will gradually return to normal levels, or slightly improved levels than before, as the remaining B12 is stored in your body until it needs to be used again. Many people notice that the initial results of this treatment fade within two weeks of an injection appointment.
How Can You Maintain Your Results?
Since the results of this treatment are so short-lived, many patients want to know if there is anything they can do to maintain their results – and it turns out, there is. For example, eating a diet rich in B12 may help maintain higher levels of this vitamin in your body. Taking other vitamins, such as folate and B6, may also help you absorb B12 more easily through your food, which can also help you maintain your results.
Why Are B12 Results Different Than Other Micronutrients?
Although vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that can be passed through the body through urine, it doesn’t behave in the same way as other water-soluble vitamins. B12 is unique because it takes on a characteristic of fat-soluble vitamins and can be stored in the body until it is needed again. What this means for your results is that you may be able to enjoy longer results if your body is good at storing extra B12 for later use.
What Other Essential Micronutrients Should You Look Out for?
Few people are deficient in only one vitamin or mineral. Typically, if you don’t plan every meal to ensure you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need, you are deficient in several micronutrients, not just vitamin B12. Additionally, many people have difficulty absorbing micronutrients from food and require larger amounts of micronutrients to absorb enough organically. Other essential micronutrients you should consider supplementing through injections or an IV drip include:
- Amino blend
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
- Mineral blend
Choosing the right essential micronutrients to support a healthy lifestyle will depend on your goals, your stress levels, and which micronutrients are best suited to your needs. For example, L-Lysine is ideal for people who have frequent cold sores, while Toradol may help manage aches and pains. We can help you choose the micronutrients or the blend that will help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
Injection vs IV: Which Is Better?
In general, both injections and IV treatments are good forms of vitamin therapy since they bypass the digestive system and deliver micronutrients directly to the cells that need them. As for which is better, this will ultimately depend on your preferences and your needs. For example, patients who want a quicker treatment or who only want vitamin B12 may choose injections, which can be completed in less than 15 minutes.
On the other hand, IV treatments are good options for those who require additional vitamins, those who could benefit from increasing the hydration of their bodies with saline water, or those who would prefer vitamin cocktails. IV treatments may take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete, but they are just as efficient for delivering B12 as injections. We can go over the pros and cons of each treatment delivery during your consultation.
How Much Does This Treatment Cost?
The price of B12 injections will depend on whether or not you are using the treatment independently or with other vitamins. By itself, B12 shots are just under $30, while an IV treatment that includes B12 may cost about $40 to $50.
What Causes Vitamin Deficiency?
There are actually quite a few causes of vitamin deficiency. One of the leading causes of B12 deficiency is a natural inability to absorb B12 through the food you eat; even people who eat foods rich in B12 may have this deficiency. Of course, if genetics aren’t the cause of your deficiency, there are three other reasons why to consider.
Eating a diet that is not fortified with raw vitamins and minerals is a fast way to develop a vitamin deficiency. Eating processed foods and take-out all the time may be easier, but a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products will give your body better access to micronutrients.
Eating a balanced diet rich in B12 may be particularly difficult for vegetarians, as fish, poultry, and milk are all foods where B12 is abundant. Some grain cereal is fortified with B12 and D, which may be helpful for maintaining higher B12 levels after your injections.
Some lifestyle choices may also cause vitamin deficiency. For example, overindulging in alcohol often makes it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins from your food. Drinking too much water for the amount of physical expenditure you maintain through exercise may also deplete your body of micronutrients more quickly.
There are also medications that may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb some vitamins and minerals. This is particularly true for psychotropic medications, such as those for depression and anxiety, as well as medications that regulate the endocrine system.
If one of your medications is making it difficult for your body to absorb a certain nutrient, you should speak with your regular physician about treatment alternatives.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Good candidates for vitamin B12 injections include those who are experiencing the symptoms of low B12 in the body, such as fatigue or anemia. This treatment is suitable for both women and men, although women who are pregnant will need to speak to a physician before seeking this treatment.
Increase Your Overall Health Today
If you want to give your all in every aspect of your life, you may need B12 injections or an IV drip that includes the vitamin. Increasing the amount of B12 in your body will increase your energy, boost your metabolism, fortify your immune system, and lead to overall improvements in your health. To learn more about which injections you may need to improve your quality of life, contact our nutritional experts at Thrive Wellness Now in Oak Brook, IL to schedule your first appointment today.