Vitamin B12 shots are becoming increasingly common. Getting a vitamin B12 injection is quick and carries few risks. There are relatively few side effects of B12 injections, and what side effects do exist are largely contingent on a previous medical condition.
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In this article, we will look at the possible complications of injections. But first it is important to know a bit more about vitamin B12 and why people get injections in the first place.
About Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of a larger complex of B vitamins. B12 is a nutrient responsible for proper functioning of the nervous system and for the creation of blood cells. Without enough vitamin B12, the nervous system could undergo irreparable damage.
It is commonly found in animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and eggs.
Why Get Vitamin B12 Injections?
Some people, such as vegetarians and the elderly, are at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. These people may choose to get injections to ensure that they get the recommended amount of this vital nutrient.
Other people may get enough vitamin B12 from diet alone, but problems in the intestinal tract can make it difficult or impossible for the body to digest and absorb nutrients. For people with this type of complication, injections bypass the digestive system altogether, thereby eliminating potential absorption problems.
For people without health or dietary issues, vitamin B12 is popular because it is believed to improve mood, concentration, memory, energy levels, and slow the aging process. Even a slight deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause depression, memory lapses, and easy exhaustion. Injections can be used to prevent these inconvenient effects of deficiency.
Side Effects of B12 Injections
The side effects of B12 shots are few and generally benign. Some of the rare and negative side effects of B12 injections include:
- Complications for people planning to undergo angioplasty. If you plan to have this procedure done, abstain from vitamin B12 injections before and after surgery as excessive amounts of B12 can cause the blood vessels to constrict once again.
- Getting an itchy rash. A small amount of cases have been reported of people getting an itchy rash while on a regimen of B12 supplements or injections. Rashes tend to last for several months and lead to the growth of small, fluid-filled bumps on the skin.
- Harm to the optic nerve. This only occurs among people with the hereditary eye condition called Leber’s disease.
- Potassium shortage. Excessive amounts of B12 can cause bone marrow to produce a surplus of blood cells, which can lead to a shortage of potassium in the body, called hypokalemia.
For most people however, there is a high likelihood of having only positive side effects of B12 shots. Injections must be prescribed by a doctor, so ask one of our physicians about how to inject B12 for optimal health.