Low B12 is a serious issue for your health and well-being. Therefore, it’s important to talk to a women’s health care professional if you think you have B12 deficiency. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to increase vitamin B12 in your body and reduce health risks associated with low B12. Let’s talk about B12 deficiency and available treatment solutions.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for many functions in your body. B12 helps with red blood cell production, brain function, and nerve tissue health. It also helps your body absorb folic acid, which helps your body make healthy new cells and DNA. People over 14 years old should get at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily. Many people get this necessary amount of B12 from their diet. However, people with low B12 may require treatment with B12 therapy. This is essentially supplementing your natural B12 levels to ensure you have healthy amounts of this necessary vitamin. If you’re not getting enough B12 from your diet, visit our women’s health clinic to determine if you could benefit from B12 therapy.
An estimated 1.5% to 15% of people in the United States have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency. The number of people who are B12 deficient may be much higher, as many people go undiagnosed. Anyone can suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, but some people are more at risk. For instance, because B12 naturally exists in meat products, vegans and vegetarians may be at a higher risk for B12 deficiency. In addition, people with gastrointestinal issues, such as Crohn’s disease, gastritis, or celiac disease, may also have low B12 because the body may not be able to absorb it properly. Finally, your risk for B12 deficiency also goes up with age, so if you’re 60 years old or older, you may have a higher risk for low vitamin B12. The good news is that your women’s health care provider can help find treatment options if you have B12 deficiency.
There are many different symptoms of B12 deficiency. If you notice symptoms of low B12, it’s important to talk to a women’s health care provider to explore treatment options to help you feel better and reduce your health risks.
Some common symptoms of low B12 include:
If you’re suffering from symptoms of low B12, our doctors may look for underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms. In addition, we may test your B12 levels to determine if you have enough of the vitamin in your blood. If you do have low B12, we can explore treatment options personalized to you.
In addition to the many worrying and difficult symptoms you may experience, B12 deficiency can cause many serious health effects. We’ve mentioned that vitamin B12 plays many necessary roles in your body, which helps explain the many negative effects that B12 deficiency can have on your overall health. Low B12 can lead to anemia and even permanent neurological issues. Those with B12 deficiency also have an increased risk for psychosis, mania, and dementia, likely due to B12’s role in brain health. People with low B12 may also be more susceptible to the effects of infections.
B12 is a vitamin most people get enough of from their diet. It is naturally available in meat, fish, and some dairy products. For example, some foods that are high in vitamin B12 include animal liver, clams, beef, and tuna. Also, many other foods are often fortified with B12, such as many cereals, plant milks, fruit juices, nutritional yeasts, margarines, and tofu. However, as we have mentioned, many people don’t get enough B12 from their diet, or their bodies don’t absorb B12 very well, leading to B12 deficiency. In these cases, our women’s health care providers may recommend B12 supplementation through B12 therapy.
There are many different options for vitamin B12 therapy. It’s important to note that B12 therapy is different from multivitamins with B12, as B12 therapy typically features higher levels of the vitamin to help increase levels to healthy ranges for people suffering from B12 deficiency. Three common options for B12 therapy are B12 pills, injections, and sublingual tablets. One type may be better for you than another, so it’s important to discuss your specific circumstances with one of our women’s health care professionals.
One common option for B12 therapy is taking B12 pills. Once again, these are different from multivitamin supplements. These pills contain a man-made form of vitamin B12. Several studies have found that vitamin B12 pills can be as effective as B12 injections. However, it’s important to note that B12 pills aren’t the best option for everyone. For instance, if you have low B12 due to gastrointestinal conditions, your body may not be able to absorb enough of the vitamin from B12 pills for treatment. Therefore, in these cases, our women’s health care providers may recommend injections or sublingual tablets.
If B12 pills don’t work for you, typically doctors recommend B12 shots. These are intramuscular injections that help send vitamin B12 to your bloodstream. B12 shots may work well if you have a deficiency linked to malabsorption for the vitamin. Also, many women’s health care providers recommend B12 injections when your levels are seriously low and need quick intervention. B12 shots may offer faster results than oral supplements. Also, injections can often offer higher doses of B12 compared to pills and sublingual options. Therefore, if you need significant doses of B12, our providers may recommend injections for B12 therapy.
Some people also do well with sublingual B12 tablets to increase B12 levels. These are tablets that you place under the tongue and allow them to dissolve. This allows you to absorb the vitamin through the tissues in your mouth. Sublingual B12 therapies are also an effective way to supplement your B12 levels. This option may help improve absorption for people suffering from poor B12 absorption. However, keep in mind that many people need to take sublingual B12 tablets every day to supplement their normal B12 levels. Some people find it easier to remember their B12 injections compared to treatment with sublingual tablets. Therefore, talk to our women’s health care professionals about which type of B12 therapy may work best for you.
Our health care professionals at HerKare are here to help you feel your best. We offer vitamin optimization treatments to help you improve your health. We work with you to identify vitamin deficiencies and find customized treatment solutions for you. Our team can help you address your nutritional needs and also offer supplements when you need them for vitamin deficiencies. Make an appointment to address your health today.