What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital in maintaining our overall wellbeing. It is involved in the body's central nervous system which determines how we think and move. It makes red blood cells which then carry oxygen to all our organs, and it is involved in making our DNA. B12 deficiency as well as folate deficiency (another vitamin) is the most common cause of anaemia in the developed world and there are some issues in managing this.
Where does it come from?
Your body does not produce B12 on its own and so the only way to get enough of it is by consuming. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is the best way to ensure that you receive enough of this vitamin however for some people this will not be possible. A common scenario of why this may not be feasible is if you follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet. Foods known to be high in B12 are meat, fish, and dairy - if these are limited or completely lacking from your diet it becomes challenging reaching the daily requirements.
Why else may it be low?
There are other scenarios in which an individual may have low B12 levels. Some genetic conditions may mean that a person cannot absorb the vitamin from their digestive system, this may also be the case for individuals that have autoimmune conditions such as Crohn's disease or whom have had surgical procedures involving their digestive system. Additionally, some commonly used medications such as metformin for type two diabetes or lansoprazole for acid reflux can cause depleted levels as a side effect.
What are some symptoms?
Most people have a large reserve of B12 and so it can take some time for any issues to develop. The most noted symptoms are increased tiredness, weakness, headaches, and even neurological issues such as cognitive impairment.
What should I do?
The most important thing to do if you are worried about B12 deficiency is book an appointment with your GP who can organise a blood test to identify any anomalies. If you are determined as being B12 deficient loading doses can be prescribed to replenish stores – please note loading doses cannot be provided at The Sanctum for the time being however this may be possible in the future. Once levels are replenished it might be recommended for you to continue taking B12 supplements daily or receive B12 injections every few months.
Why get the injection?
The Sanctum is proud to offer our customers maintenance B12 injections as one of our wellbeing treatments. We understand that some people may not wish to take supplements every day and may prefer to receive an injection every few months to maintain their B12 levels. In our hectic lives it is all too easy to forget to take a daily supplement, this is especially true if you are not used to taking daily medication. Receiving an injection every few months removes the need for daily supplementation. GPs are under enormous pressure at the minute and anyone that has tried to make an appointment recently will be aware of how difficult this can be. Through utilising our in-house nurse prescriber there is no need to call the doctor to arrange an appointment or to request a prescription as we can take care of all this for you.
Appointments are quick, easy and hassle free. After asking a few questions our trained healthcare professionals can administer your injection and have you out of the door rest assured that you’re topped up for the next two months. Our skilled team will ensure that the procedure is as pain free as possible with the injection itself being very well tolerated, there are minimal side effects. Whether you have recently been diagnosed with low B12 or managing the condition for years we are more than happy to help. If you have any questions just give us a call!