Having difficulty focusing? Feel foggy, depressed or anxious? You could have a deficiency in vitamin B12
An important but minimally talked about topic, B12 deficiencies are being found to be the common cause of a large variety of symptoms, with more continually surfacing.
Vitamin B12 is an important component of supporting nerve function as well as healthy blood cells. A deficiency in this key vitamin may cause damage to the area that protects the nerves which in turn causes them to cease proper functioning. Improper nerve functions can lead to a variety of symptoms that are commonly observed in our society, such as:
Additionally, due to B12 being important for healthy blood cells, anemia is a common symptom of this deficiency.
Several factors can lead to this common deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is primarily produced in animal products so those following a vegetarian or vegan diet are likely to become deficient. Vitamin B12 also needs specific processes to occur within the body for it to actually be absorbed. It is first separated from the food source in the stomach but it then needs to be absorbed by an intrinsic factor protein. Many people with B12 deficiencies lack the ability to absorb the vitamin due to mutations or an autoimmune condition such as pernicious anemia, celiac, and Crohn's disease.
While there are B12 supplements that can be taken for those with low levels, B12 shots can often be the ideal way to make up for any deficiencies.
The shot injects this vitamin straight into the bloodstream, bypassing the process that can allow for it to not be absorbed. Additionally, B12 shots allow for quick increases in B12 levels that can then be stored in the body for future use. B12 shots can help to alleviate the symptoms that are caused by this deficiency and can help to reduce the risk of long term and life threatening damage.
Skerrett, Patrick J. “Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful.” Harvard Health Publishing. 11 February 2019.
“Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia.” Health. John Hopkins Medical School. 2019.