The body needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Thankfully nature abounds with these elements. However, for one reason or the other, one may have a deficiency of one or more of them.
The focus of this article is Vitamin B12, its deficiency and reasons why you may need to get a shot for it. Another name for this vitamin is cobalamin and it is water soluble. But before we proceed we would briefly outline the sources of Vitamin B12 and its functions in the human body.
Sources of Vitamin B12
This important substance can be found in the following foods:-
- Fish- This includes varieties such as salmon, trout and tuna fish.
- Shellfish – A good example is clams
- Meat- Liver, beef and chicken
- Milk- This includes dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
- Breakfast cereals- Note that this refers to only the fortified variety.
These sources may not be beneficial to vegetarians and vegans. Therefore if you are a vegetarian or vegan, click here to find alternative food sources.
Functions of Vitamin B12
This substance is important in the body because of the many functions that it performs and these include:-
Formation of DNA
It helps DNA to form properly which in turn helps in the prevention of many serious ailments.
When you take in food, the body breaks it down to glucose which energizes the body. This in turn affects the metabolism of the body. Similarly, the energy the body gets is from the absorption of folic acid. All these are made possible by the presence of cobalamin(B12) in the body.
Production of Red Blood Cells
It is the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the whole body and its production is thanks to Vitamin B12.
Preservation of the Health of Nerve cells
This important element helps in the production and maintenance of the myelin sheath which encompasses the nerves for protection. The nerves might not function adequately if it is damaged.
Ensures Neurological function
B12 (cobalamin) ensures that the nerve cells and the brain is properly developed and functions well.
This is just a brief summary of the functions of Vitamin B12. If you want to know more, check out this link: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer
Reasons to Take Vitamin B12 Injections
As we have discussed earlier, this important substance in the human body can be gotten from several food sources. But there are cases in which the body does not get enough of it; this might be due to a number of reasons. When that happens one might have no choice but to resort to artificial means of augmenting.
Due to the importance of this vitamin to the proper functioning of the brain, nervous system and other parts of the body, a deficiency cannot be taken lightly. That being said however, you need to know the symptoms of deficiency. So find below some of the symptoms:-
- Cognitive issues
- Fatigue(constant tiredness)
- Losing appetite which might lead to reduction in weight
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sore tongue or mouth
These are mild symptoms and might not be a true indicator of deficiency in cobalamin(b12). However, symptoms may escalate to neurological issues like tingling and numbness in the feet and hands, lack of coordination and reflex problems. But it is safer to consult a doctor once the mild symptoms show up.
When you visit a doctor s/he would order that you be tested to confirm that your symptoms are really signs of b12 deficiency. If the diagnosis comes in positive then you might be required to take some shots.
You may decide to take the shots in the same hospital or choose to do so somewhere else. If you decide on the latter, all you need to do is type in “where to get vitamin B12 injections near me“ into your browser. You would get many results but it is best to check out the links on the first page of your search engine. This will help you get the best options for you.
Getting vitamin b12 shots may be the best option for you if you have a deficiency in that regard. It is a fast way of correcting it and comes with many benefits. Note however that whatever you do, never self-medicate; always consult your personal physician who knows your medical history.