Vitamin B12 shots - should I take them?

Wondering if I should take B12 shots?

Background as follows -

My doctor diagnosed me with border line b12 deficiency, and prescribed b12 injections. Injections as it’s likely an absorption issue.

He was then overruled by the local NHS consultant in charge of these things. The reason being that I’m within the normal range for our local population and other related things are not an issue.

I’ve since looked into this and the limit at which they start to prescribe b12 shots varies massively. In lots (I think most) other countries and some other parts of the UK I would be prescribed b12 shots. The variation between countries seems to depend partly on b12 levels in the local population but also differences of opinion on what is low within that range.

I’m in Scotland and we’re not the healthiest country in the world, so I wonder if b12 deficiency is quite common and they’re using that as a reason to say it’s not a problem.

You could go private in this case but you will be charged more for it.

Maybe wait a bit and get re-tested. NHS is overloaded right now and the rejection is likely due to the prioritizing of essential health services.

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Appointment was before coronavirus, and yes, I’d need to go private. Won’t be doing anything about it for a while. Just interested in people’s thoughts on whether I should

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I know that feeling. Have a coupon to do a broad spectrum blood test but that was before all this hit.

Just sitting at home, looking at the gorgeous summer and wishing I was outside.

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I think the issue is your doctor was overruled. You indicate you are border line. The shots are meant to get your levels back up to a normal range. It sounds like your already there so what is the benefit of the shot?

Eat healthy, watch your diet and just get retested. If it continues to drop then you will get your shots.

The other factor is what are your symptoms. If you didnt provide a description of a problem to which a higher B12 amount could achieve I can see them saying it isnt needed. Just taking more of something doesnt mean your body can use it.

Try Berocca or something?

Have you tried eating more foods w B12? Others can mention veggies; I know red meat has it.

It’s an absorption issue, so needs to be injections.

I had a similar problem when I first started getting B12 injections. Consultant told me I needed them (can’t absorb after surgery) but GP didn’t want to give me them because my levels weren’t critically low. I just kicked off and told him that the consultant was more qualified than him!

Even now I still have the occasional argument if a recent test shows I’m within ‘normal’ levels.

I’ve often wondered if the sublingual tablets would work for me. They are absorbed into the bloodstream by placing them under your tongue, so any issues with non-functioning digestive system are presumably overcome. Might be an option for you.

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Thanks, much appreciated. I’ll look into the sublingual option.

A lot of times the “normal” range on labs is just calibrated to what everyone else has, to within a few standard deviations. Ie, don’t confuse “normal” with optimal, or even good. As an example, people are getting heavier. That doesn’t mean we should adjust our view of what a healthy weight is to the new average. Anyway, I can’t imagine getting a b12 shot would cost you that much out of pocket to try, but no idea if it would help you or not – you’d have to look into symptoms for deficiency and try to evaluate whether they apply to you.

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Mate I would look at any underlying health issues first. The obvious one that stands out is a MTHFR mutation. About 70% of people have one and never know.

https://mthfrgenesupport.com/2018/12/importance-of-vitamin-b12-and-mthfr/

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I take them because I am a vegetarian but if you have no dietary restrictions you should be fine without them. I also usually take BCAA. I have been going to the gym a lot these past few weeks (well more like I built my own home gym so to speak) and since cycling is kind of out the question right now I have been working at home on my muscles. I always had a fairly good stamina so a few extra pounds of muscle will not hurt.
Like I said I take B12 as well as BCAA and some other supplements like Mg, Zn and Ca. I usually go to a sports store and buy them there but with the pandemic I started ordering them online. I recently also switched brands and I have to say that I like this new brand a lot. I order my supplements from here: https://www.nhc.com/brand/bluebonnet They have a large selection of brands there as well as the fact that the prices are good. I am a fan that’s for sure.

My lack of b12 was due to celiac.

I received B12 shots for a deficiency that I had quite some years ago. I can say that it made a huge difference with my energy levels and brain function to the point where I would consider it an elixir for life! :smiley: Next best option although perhaps not for everyone - oysters :slight_smile:

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My wife is in a similar positio to OP, borderline low B12 but feels drained of energy and gets pins and needles in her hands. She is very active [cycling, tennis, swimming, dog walking+++]. No underlying condition. Receives monthly injections from our GP that ‘make her feel normal’ and take the problem away.

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If you’re really a b12 deficiency you should take an ultra B complex which includes B2, B6, and B12. What brand you’re using or considering. I’m using vitaminexpress brand to order my products.

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I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia in 2019 and I’ve been on injections for 1.5 years. If you’re in the “low normal” range I would recommend asking for follow-up tests before your begin self-supplementing. Follow-up tests include homocysteine and methylmalonic acid. Taking B12 tabs will raise your blood levels regardless of whether your body is able to absorb the B12 or not and give you an inaccurate test result. If you truly have an absorption issue, as I do, you will only benefit from injections.

FYI I was in the low normal range and developed neurological issues that took nearly a year to resolve. It wasn’t until my levels further dropped that my medical team flagged it as an “emergency situation.” B12 deficiency is a pretty serious condition.