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Health Goals and Concerns

About Vitamin B-12 Shots and Side Effects

Vitamin B-12 Shots: What You Need To Know Before Getting One

Vitamin B-12 is what gives your body the fuel it needs to survive and thrive.  Foods with vitamin B-12 include fish, meat and dairy products, but come with a serious toxicity load. Many vegans and vegetarians find themselves vitamin B-12 deficient, which can be addressed by using a supplement of getting a B-12 injection.

If you’re hesitant about getting a shot, you may consider the VeganSafe B-12 or other similar dietary supplementation that includes two active types of B-12 (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin).

What are the side effects of Vitamin B12 shots?

Vitamin B-12 Shot: What Exactly Is It?

The shot provides a high amount of therapeutic B-12, typically by way of hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin. The injection is necessary for people who cannot absorb or digest B-12 because of damage to the small intestine and stomach or for genetic reasons. If you need an extremely high dose of B-12, the injection is the only surefire way to get it. Some B-12 shots are seen as an energy boost because it helps with cellular energy production.

 

Why Is The B-12 Shot So Important?

A deficiency in vitamin B-12 can lead to a plethora of problems such as mood disorders, depression, memory loss, fatigue, low blood pressure, anemia, etc. A B-12 shot can address the deficiency, but it’s also used to boost one’s energy levels, a depression treatment or improve cognitive function.

Researchers are also looking at the possibility of a B-12 treatment for autism, shaky leg syndrome and bipolar disorder.

 

What You Need To Know Before You Get The B-12 Shot

It’s important to let your doctor know if you have allergies, are currently taking nutritional supplements or have consumed a lot of alcohol in recent days. The shot goes into the muscle (usually upper arm or thigh) so that it can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

 

What Kinds of Side Effects Are There?

Common side effects will depend on the dosage and kind of B-12 used, but they could include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and flushing. Here is a closer look at the possible side effects of the two B-12 shots typically given:

Hydroxocobalamin

This B-12 is seen in food, but when given as a shot can produce mild side effects such as soreness where the shot was administered, swelling, itching and diarrhea. For more serious side effects, you could experience weakness, muscle cramping and irregular heartbeat. Sometimes there are more serious side effects although rare, but they include chest pains, difficulty breathing, visual changes, one-sided weakness, etc. If you notice any of these, contact your doctor right away.

Cyanocobalamin

This B-12 is synthetic, usually found in supplements and the shot. Some commonly experienced but mild side effects include swelling and diarrhea. More serious side effects may include extreme thirst, confusion, headache, muscle weakness, skin reddening, exhaustion, etc. If you experienced problems breathing or chest pains, you need to call your doctor right away. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, rash, swelling, breathing difficulty and dizziness. Call your doctor right away to seek help.

It’s imperative your doctor knows your medical history including what drugs and medications you are currently on as well as any alcohol consumption.  You should also make him or her aware of your family history to avoid any possible complications from the B-12 shot.

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