Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin, among others) is known to be one of the main energy-boosting vitamins. When a patient complains of low energy and fatigue, we often run blood work looking for possible reasons why this could be, including potential vitamin B12 deficiencies.
The B vitamins play a large role in our stress response, being co-factors for enzyme reactions in our mitochondria – our energy producing units. Thus, when we’re lacking some of these essential nutrients, our energy production system may not be working as efficiently as it should, resulting in poor sleep cycles, impaired cognitive functioning and mood, in conjunction with fatigue and generalized body weakness. Particular to B12, having a role in DNA and red blood cell production means that we need t be supplementing accordingly to correct for blood anemias.
Populations usually affected by deficiencies
Vegans and vegetarians, as B12 is only available in animal products
Absorption concerns, like low stomach acid or the use of acid-suppressing drugs (PPI’s), or celiac disease, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
Those experiencing chronic stress – physical and/or mental
Fertility concerns, a history of miscarriage – as vitamin B12 absorption relates to folate absorption, which we know to be an essential nutrient for pregnancy.
When assessing vitamin B12 status via blood work, we may find that although B12 levels are not showing an out-right deficiency, they may still be lower in the range, for what is optimal for your functioning. Depending on the level of deficiency, intramuscular injections of vitamin B12 are given to correct for deficiency, optimizing how you are feeling.
How often do you need a B12 injection?
We’ll requisition for blood work to test your baseline vitamin B12 status, to determine if there is a deficiency, and how often injections are indicated. If you’ve had blood work taken within the last 6 months by your family doctor, we can use that. Usually several injections within the first 2 months are done, followed by 1 injection per month until you are feeling your best, and levels are adequate when we retest.
Injections are often recommeneded at the start, followed with the option of continuing with a monthly injection, or switching to sublingual B12 tablets for maintenence.
How it works
B12 injections are available during all naturopathic follow-up visits for existing patients. If you are not an existing patient and interested in the injections, schedule your initial naturopathic visit during our next availability.
Interested in learning more? Sent me a message! I’d love to hear from you,
Dr. Alison Gottschalk, ND