B-12 questions?

By granniesophie Latest Reply 2012-06-25 21:26:26 -0500
Started 2012-06-15 20:47:21 -0500

Has anyone here ever had to be on B-12 shots? How did you feel before you had to take them, and how did they help you? The reason I ask is that my B-12 is apparently so low as to be almost in the danger zone and even vitamins with lots of B-12 in them apparently aren't enough, so the doctor is running some tests to decide whether I need the shots every week or not. I am tired beyond belief, and have no energy at all, and he says it's not supposed to be this way, and my body is not processing the B-12 properly.
I just want to know if anyone has had experiences with this or can give me some advice with B-12.

86 replies

watson4042 2012-06-20 18:16:09 -0500 Report

hi grannysofie, i need monthly b12 injections for the rest of my life. i was diagnosed with pernicious anemia in the late 80's. my stomach lacks an enzeme that doesn't allow me to take it in pill form. pernicous anemia is almost unheard of, but got it from my mother (among other health issues). when i'm late taking my shot my energy drops hand in hand with how many days i'm late getting the shot. believe me i'm on top of that shot every 30 days. the injection needs to be in the butt or shoulder so it can get into the blood stream faster. sounds like you have PA also. before i started the shots i'd be asleep in a flash watching tv, it put me in the hsopital for 4 days and i remember the lab tech coming into the er exclaiming "you won't believe this, she's PA" to the doctor. like i said it's unusal now-a-days. good luck with it, it's only a minor inconvience and the reward of new found energy is well worth the sting of a shot. feel free to contact me for any guestioons you have.

Debbiejf 2012-06-20 23:55:38 -0500 Report

what is PA?? and as long as the shots are in the muscle what difference does it make where you get the shot?

MAYS 2012-06-24 16:19:25 -0500 Report


The shots should be given into the fatty area of the body just like an insulin injection, giving injections directly into the fleshy ares of the body can sometimes form internal bruises in the tissue, as well as pockets that can form scar tissue as well as break down the muscle tissue from within.

granniesophie 2012-06-21 06:04:55 -0500 Report

PA is pernicious anemia, which is apparently what I'm being tested for. You can find lots about it on the Internet, altho WebMD had nothing! My DR used all the words that were mentioned in the articles I read, so sounds like thats what hes looking for. Would be nice to know why I feel this bad and that there is help!

watson4042 2012-06-21 11:53:14 -0500 Report

yes the shot can go into your arm or butt, and i switch mine. must admit that my roommate gives me the shot and if she uses the arm it sometimes stings, but in the butt it doesn't. and by butt i'm referring to the fatty area above the cheeks at about hip height. yes you'll feel like crap until the shot kicks in which is about 2 days. your doctor will probably want to give more shots to begin with and once you're pa is stablized a monthly shot of 1000 units will be standard. you get too much b-12 as your body will pee out what you don't need. not sure why the butt vs arm other than standard areas. when mom got hers diagnosed she was falling asleep, walking like a drunk and with fog brain. i had the foggy brain and falling asleep at the drop of a hat, stumbling into walls and passing out for over an hour before calling 911. and 2 days after the shot i was amazed how wonderful i felt. now it's routine and no big deal. hang in there. :)

granniesophie 2012-06-20 18:40:14 -0500 Report

I just read up on this and the symptoms and all I have to say is Oh crap!! Are we friends?? If not we need to be, cause I do and will have questions!

granniesophie 2012-06-20 09:39:56 -0500 Report

Small update-Have been taking 2500mcg of B-12 sub-lingually since Saturday, with very little noticable difference. Now I am having issues with my memory, which is proving very embarrassing at work! Understand that is part of B-12 deficiancy. Hopefully the test results will be in shortly and I will know for sure if that's what it is, or if we need to continue looking.
On the bright side-my stomach is slowly getting happier.
Thank you all for your concern and advice, and I will try to keep you posted :)

jigsaw 2012-06-20 10:06:25 -0500 Report

When my wife was suffering from fatigue, her doctor said that for her circumstances, only B-12 injections would work! This may not apply to your situation, but I thought I would mention it as a point of info!

watson4042 2012-06-21 11:57:15 -0500 Report

yes the b-12 injection is good for when a person is overly tired and will just pee out what it doesn't need. back when i drove trucks for a living my dr would give me a shot once in awhile to give me a boost. if that's all she was getting the shot for then i'd think the b-12 tablets would work, but check with your doctor first.

TsalagiLenape 2012-06-18 20:18:27 -0500 Report

Yes I started those for awhile. No big deal actually. But it did make a difference with my energy level and the leg cramps. Now I just take a B complex supplement over the counter. It is great and helps us overall. So no worries ok? Hugs

dietcherry 2012-06-17 13:36:29 -0500 Report

I hope you wont mind me putting this here; its important information!

Sixty percent of the population is infected with H. Pylori bacteria, which resides in the stomach. It is implicated in gastritis, inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and is the #1 cause of peptic ulcers.
Folks with low B12 levels should get checked for an H. Pylori infection, as it is known to interfere with absorption of this vitamin in particular.

watson4042 2012-06-21 12:00:44 -0500 Report

that might be the enzeme that prevents me from absorbing the b-12 naturally and why i must have the shots. i know that when the dr runs my blood panels he checks for tsh and 2 over "t" results. but will check it out. thanks.

granniesophie 2012-06-17 13:43:26 -0500 Report

May be why my stomach is so screwed up right now, too-could be connected. Swell news, and I will investigate further. I'm just a bundle of joy, ain't I ;)

dietcherry 2012-06-17 13:58:51 -0500 Report

I discovered this recently after researching stomach acid production; it opened a whole new world to me regarding H. Pylori. Most of those with it contracted it in childhood, and while it will remain benign for some, it can begin causing problems for others at any age!
Treatment involves 2 antibiotics taken concurrently along with a proton pump inhibitor. This will effectively eradicate 90% of infections, although you can be re-infected by drinking fecal-contaminated water (perhaps from a swimming pool) and eating raw vegetables.
I started a Discussion earlier this month about how H. Pylori is also implicated in the development of T2!!!

gadgetgirl007 2012-06-17 22:19:40 -0500 Report

Interestingly. I had gone to my doc complaining of heart burn, she ran blood tests, & the lab reported the results as consistent with someone who has Diabetes. I was like "What you talkin' about Willis" LOL. Not exactly the way I wanted to receive the news back in 2003 that I was now diagnosed with Diabetes. But, at least my doc was thorough & it was diagnosed. First I took prescription Zantac now I take Pepsid, twice a day. Never looked into the B12 vitamin deficiency.

granniesophie 2012-06-17 14:10:03 -0500 Report

Interesting! I was just on massive antibiotics for my teeth, and that's when my stomach went to heck, I've been taking prescriptsion Prilosec forever. The exhaustion has been going on for at least a year! This gets more and more interesting!

granniesophie 2012-06-17 17:46:47 -0500 Report

I live on the stuff-otherwise I take an acid bath every day!! I am hyperacidic, to add to all my other issues, and the Prilosec keeps the acid at bay. The benefits outweigh the side effects in my case!

granniesophie 2012-06-18 14:54:29 -0500 Report

So far, no, but I have referral to a doc in town, and once I can make an appointment, maybe I'll be able to find out more. I don't think you are being nosey at all!

jigsaw 2012-06-19 11:11:25 -0500 Report

I wish you nothing short of the best! I hope you get a definitive answer since acid reflux is nothing to sneeze at.

jigsaw 2012-06-20 16:20:01 -0500 Report

There can be numerous reasons for a B-12 deficiency including medications! Therefore it would be difficult to answer your question. Best thing to do is ask your doctor.

dietcherry 2012-06-17 14:14:49 -0500 Report

Antibiotics can and will upset the normal intestinal flora, causing major digestive issues. An acidophilus supplement can help immensely here; try Phillips Colon Health probiotic capsules, available at amazon or Walmart. However your low B12 level has me concerned that it may be bacterial.

jigsaw 2012-06-17 12:31:15 -0500 Report

My wife had the same symptoms that you are describing! She felt exausted all the time to the extreme. Turned out she had Epstein Barr. The doctor adminstered b-12 shots since Epstien Barr depletes it. She eventually recovered after a couple of months. Checkout this link, and definitely read page 3. There is a suspected connection with Epstiein Barr and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

harry1 2012-06-16 19:00:29 -0500 Report

I got them it started out 3 times a week for a month then 2 times and week for a month then once a week and finally once a month. The only thing i hated was that the doctor ordered them to be given in the butt (since i weighted over 300lbs) they stung and burned. I dropped 60 lbs and they started giving them to me in the arm which don't hurt.

shortysmalls 2012-06-17 08:17:15 -0500 Report

what i do is put his meds in an am/pm container so he doesnt have to mess with sorting out his pills. Hes neen pretty goood bout it so far. going to see how that works. also going to see if can get him to start eating alittle better. hes really not a sweet eater or anything but do some changes on both our parts so we can lose weight and not put on extra pounds. but thanks for your input and will remind him he doesnt want to go into hospital for diabetic related stuff.

Type1Lou 2012-06-16 17:15:25 -0500 Report

Last December, I was diagnosed with depression and my doctor ordered a blood test to check my B12…it was unbelievably low and I've been getting monthly B12 shots since then along with taking a sub-lingual 5000mcg B12 tablet daily. I'm convinced that the low B12 level was a major factor in my depression. I'm doing vastly better now and pretty much back to normal…or, as "normal" as I get! Being a Type 1, I don't use any of the oral diabetes meds. I'm on an insulin pump, averaging about 16u of Novolog per day and also take levoxyl for my thyroid, lisinopril for hypertension and simvastatin for cholesterol control. My endo last year also discovered that my vitamin D levels were low so I take 3000iu of D3 per day too. It's amazing how well the body functions when it is in balance!

granniesophie 2012-06-17 13:44:54 -0500 Report

I just bought 2500 sub-lingual tablets that I am going to try right now-hope they help and don't make me weird out!!

granniesophie 2012-06-16 10:06:24 -0500 Report

Interesting. I don't know if it's the Met, or my ongoing idiotic stomach issues. Dr didn't seem concerned with the Met. I have no anemia, and no neuropathy, just so tired, that as you said, its too much to breathe, sometimes.
He told me to try to take 2000 mcg of B-12 a day until we get the test results back, most vitamins have only 100 mcg, so I don't know how I will get what he thinks I need!!

GabbyPA 2012-06-17 08:57:29 -0500 Report

B vitamins are one that you cannot overdose on, so if you need more, see about taking some more. Maybe your doctor is looking in the wrong direction?

granniesophie 2012-06-17 13:45:54 -0500 Report

I just bought one that's 2500mcg-sub-lingual. I'm a litlle afraid to take it, but I am going to do right now, and hope for the best!

Debbiejf 2012-06-21 00:25:05 -0500 Report

one doc is not enough for a diabetic with many issues :(. My pcp truly is not capable of dealing with my diabietes but there are no endocrinologists in a 60 mile radius. Wait I take that back, I did see the only one in the area and she did not look at my feet (had my socks and shoes off already) never let me get a word in edgewise and only said I needed to lose weight-well (no s**t sherlock! my apologies) I never went back to her. How can a doc help the patient if they aren't willing to listen to the patient first before giving out advice? My pcp just started me on b12 shots, she said I can do them in the leg muscle since I give them to myself, I do my own insulin so why not the b12? I don't have the means to keep running to the doc's office every few days or week. The b12 is not covered by my insurance but with the discount the pharmacy gives me it only costs about $10 for the bottle that will last quite awhile. I only started the b12 about 2 weeks ago so I can't really say if there's any improvement yet. Keeping my fingers crossed. Good luck to you :)

Debbiejf 2012-06-23 02:21:05 -0500 Report

the bottle is very small about the size of an insulin bottle and the shots are only 1mm so the bottle should last awhile says my dr. I've taken 3 shots as of today, after the next week I go to once a month.

watson4042 2012-06-23 15:55:43 -0500 Report

the needles may be twice the length of an insulin needle, but just a thin and don't hurt. maybe a little sting once in awhile but no hurt and no after hurting.

granniesophie 2012-06-21 06:07:21 -0500 Report

In my case one hads to be enough-I go through the military. If neeeded I get a referrel to an outside dr, but otherwise, one is all I get

GabbyPA 2012-06-16 08:47:14 -0500 Report

Metformin can also be a culprit to the loss of B-12. You may want to talk to your doctor about that. I have never taken the shots, but I do use a sublingual that is liquid. It is set to absorb better than a pill. Have you tried that?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-06-16 09:02:26 -0500 Report

I use the sublingual. Never had the shots, since the liquid ones do the trick for me. Every six months it seems my B vitamins need boosted. I will use the B complex sublinguals daily for a week or so at full strength, than half a dose daily, then by the second bottle I go to every other day. After the 2nd bottle is gone it takes a while before the fatigue sets in. I wish I'd remember to take some sooner. Seems I usually wait until just breathing is an effort.

MAYS 2012-06-15 22:06:59 -0500 Report

Sorry to hear about your situation.
Early on in my years as a vegetarian (vegan) I developed a B-12 absorption issue and although I took supplements daily my condition begin to worsen causing me to become anemic today, my doctor has recommended B-12 injections but it's not to my fancy, at least not yet anyway!

This link may interest you, I wish that I had known much more about this when I was younger, maybe I wouldn't have the problems that I have today.



granniesophie 2012-06-21 06:11:04 -0500 Report

I read about vegetarians needed B-12 supplements in the article I was reading about PA. Interesting to note that becoming a vegetarian or even a vegan causes a person to have to take supplements to maintain good health. Brings me to wonder if the human body really was made to eat that type of diet or if we are really meat eaters after all??

Caroltoo 2012-06-15 21:37:10 -0500 Report

i have a friend who takes them monthly and has for years. She complains of fatique sometimes, but if I were to have a visual for her it would be the Everready Bunny. The woman is constantly on the go. She is also running from a clinical depression … B12 seems to really help her.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-06-15 21:13:01 -0500 Report

Hi, I have not used them, but my former co-worker did. She felt better taking them as she too was tired. She opted to give herslf the shots at home and later when she opened her own buisness she was trying to get medical insurance coverage and kept getting denied due to the shots. It was considered pre-existing. This was not insurance provided by a company that she worked for, but private.

dietcherry 2012-06-15 21:10:23 -0500 Report

How did your B12 get so low??

granniesophie 2012-06-15 21:19:41 -0500 Report

The doctor thinks something in my stomach is fighting absorbing B-12, and this has been going on for a while. Hopefully the blood tests show something-cause I feel like crap and I feel like I am walking underwater I am so tirerd.

GabbyPA 2012-06-16 09:06:02 -0500 Report

This is why my diabetes educator suggested a sublingual form. It is absorbed under your tongue and not in the stomach. It gets into your system better and faster this way. You can use a liquid or a disolvable tablet. I have used both and they do much better than a pill form.

dietcherry 2012-06-15 21:29:43 -0500 Report

Im so sorry to hear that! When do your test results come back? BTW Ive not taken the shots; Im concerned about you!! :)

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