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Nutrition / Diet

10 Successful weight loss tips

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Being overweight or obese can cause a number of health issues. And though there are many different “fad” diets available, a good lifestyle and nutritious diet are essential to healthy living and improved weight control.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015–2016 about 93.3 million adults in the United States experienced obesity. It is equivalent to a population of 39.8 per cent.

Carrying excess body weight can increase the risk of serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Crash diets aren’t a viable alternative, despite the benefits their proponents may say. It is important to make incremental, sustainable, and effective lifestyle improvements to both safely lose weight and maintain the weight loss over time.

We’re including 10 tips for weight management in this report.

10 tips for successful weight loss

By taking many realistic steps, people will lose weight and sustain the loss. These include the following:

1. Eat varied, colorful, nutritionally dense foods

Eat a varied, nutritious diet.
Eat a varied, nutritious diet.

Healthy meals and snacks are expected to form the basis of human diets. A good way of making a meal plan is to make sure that each meal consists of 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% whole grains and 25% protein. Total consumption of fibre should be 25–30 grams (g) per day.

Eliminate trans fats from the diet and reduce saturated fat consumption, which has a clear link with coronary heart disease incidence.

Alternatively, individuals can consume monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which are unsaturated fat types.

The following foods are good, and also nutrient rich:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • fish
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal

Foods to avoid eating include:

  • foods with added oils, butter, and sugar
  • fatty red or processed meats
  • baked goods
  • bagels
  • white bread
  • processed foods

Deleting certain foods from the diet can, in some cases, cause a person to become deficient in some essential vitamins and minerals. A nutritionist, dietitian, or other health care professional may advise a person how to get enough nutrients when undertaking a weight loss plan.

2. Keep a food and weight diary

Self-monitoring is a vital element in achieving weight loss successfully. People can use a paper diary, mobile app or dedicated website to record every item they eat every day. They may also assess their progress by taking a weekly record of their weight.

Many that are able to monitor their progress in small steps and recognise physical improvements are much more likely to adhere to a weight loss regime.

3. Engage in regular physical activity and exercise

Regular physical activity can help a person lose weight.
Regular physical activity can help a person lose weight.

Daily exercise is important both to mental and physical health. Increasing the physical activity level in a controlled and purposeful manner is also key to a good weight loss.

Ideal for one hour of moderate-intensive exercise a day, such as brisk walking. If one hour a day is not feasible, the Mayo Clinic suggests that each week a person should be aiming for at least 150 minutes.

Those who are not normally physically active will increase the amount of exercise they do slowly, and increase their strength gradually. This method is the most natural way of making daily exercise a part of their lifestyle.

Just as tracking meals can help with weight loss mentally, people can also benefit from keeping track of their physical activity too. There are several free mobile apps available that monitor a person’s calorie balance after logging in and exercising their food intake.

If the idea of a full workout seems daunting to anyone new to exercise, they can start by doing the following exercises to increase their level of exercise:

  • taking the stairs
  • raking leaves
  • walking a dog
  • gardening
  • dancing
  • playing outdoor games
  • parking farther away from a building entrance

Individuals with a low risk of coronary heart disease are unlikely to require medical examination prior to beginning an exercise routine.

However for certain individuals, including those with diabetes, previous medical examination may be advisable. Anyone who is uncertain about appropriate exercise rates should contact a health care provider.

4. Eliminate liquid calories

Being consuming sugar-sweetened soda, tea, fruit, or alcohol will consume hundreds of calories a day. These are labeled “empty calories” because they have extra energy content without any health benefits.

Unless a individual eats a smoothie to replace a meal, they should aim at sticking to water or unsweetened coffee and tea. Flavor can be created by adding a splash of fresh lemon or orange to the drink.

Stop mistaking dehydration for hunger. Often an person can relieve feelings of hunger with a drink of water between scheduled meal times.

5. Measure servings and control portions

Eating too much of any food, including vegetables that are low in calories, can contribute to weight gain.

People should also stop calculating a serving size or consuming food straight from the box. Usage of measuring cups and serving size guides is preferable. Guessing leads to an overestimation and a probability of eating a portion larger than expected.

Comparisons of the following scale can be useful for tracking food consumption while eating out:

  • three-fourths of a cup is a golf ball
  • one-half of a cup is a tennis ball
  • 1 cup is a baseball
  • 1 ounce (oz) of nuts is a loose handful
  • 1 teaspoon is 1 playing die
  • 1 tablespoon is a thumb tip
  • 3 oz of meat is a deck of cards
  • 1 slice is a DVD

Such measurements aren’t exact, but when the right resources are not available they can help a person control their food intake.

6. Eat mindfully

Most people profit from eating conscientiously, which means becoming completely conscious of why, how, where, where, and what they are eating.

Creating healthy food choices is a direct product of being more attuned to the body.

Often, people who practice mindful eating tend to eat more slowly and savor their food, concentrating on taste. Making a meal last for 20 minutes helps the body to process all the satiety signals.

Focusing on being satisfied after a meal rather than complete is crucial, and keeping in mind that many “all natural” or low-fat foods are not inherently a healthier option.

Participants should also ask the following questions in relation to their choice of meal:

  • Is it good “value” for the calorie cost?
  • Will it provide satiety?
  • Are the ingredients healthful?
  • If it has a label, how much fat and sodium does it contain?

7. Stimulus and cue control

There are several social and environmental signals which could promote excessive feeding. For eg, when watching TV some people are more likely to over-eat. Others are having trouble transferring a bowl of candy to another without taking a slice.

Individuals should think about ways to change their routine and minimize these triggers by becoming mindful of what can cause the need and binge on empty calories.

8. Plan ahead

Stocking a kitchen with diet-friendly foods and making regular meal plans can result in more substantial weight loss.

People trying to lose weight or keep it off should clear their kitchen of processed or fast foods and ensure that they have the ingredients on hand to make quick, healthful meals. Doing so will prevent eating fast, unplanned and carelessly.

Planning food options before heading to social gatherings or restaurants may also improve the process.

9. Seek social support

Ladies Exercising
Having social support is a great way to stay motivated.

Admitting loved one’s encouragement is an important part of a positive weight loss journey.

Some people may choose to invite friends or family members to join them, while others may choose to share their progress via social media.

Other supporting avenues may include:

  • a positive social network
  • group or individual counseling
  • exercise clubs or partners
  • employee-assistance programs at work

10. Stay positive

Weight loss is a gradual process, and a person can feel disheartened if the pounds are not falling at the pace they had expected.

When you stick to a weight loss or maintenance plan some days can be tougher than others. A effective weight-loss program requires the patient to persevere and not give up when it seems too difficult to change their self.

Some people will need to update their goals, possibly by changing the total amount of calories they plan to consume or modifying their habits of exercise.

The crucial thing is to keep a good attitude and to be diligent in trying to resolve the barriers to successful weight loss.

Losing weight

Effective weight loss doesn’t allow people to follow a specific diet program, like Slimming World or Atkins. They should then focus on eating less calories and doing around to maintain a healthy energy balance.

Weight reduction relies mainly on reducing overall calorie consumption, without changing the dietary proportions of carbohydrate, fat, and protein.

A realistic weight loss target to start seeing health benefits is to reduce body weight by 5–10 percent over a 6-month span.

Through rising their overall calorie intake to somewhere in the range of 1,000–1,600 calories per day, most people can achieve this target.

A diet of less than 1,000 calories a day does not provide enough nutrition for any day.

The rate of weight loss typically declines after 6 months of diet, and body weight appears to become a plateau as people use less energy at high body weight. The easiest way to prevent regaining lost weight is to adopt a weight loss regimen with healthy eating habits and daily physical activity.

People who have a BMI equal to or greater than 30 with no health problems related to obesity can benefit from taking prescription weight-loss medications. This may also be acceptable for obesity-related diseases for people for BMI equal to or greater than 27.

Nevertheless, a person can only use medicines to help the above lifestyle changes. If weight loss attempts are ineffective and a person’s BMI exceeds 40 or more, surgical therapy is an option.

Overview

Maintaining weight loss requires a dedication to a balanced lifestyle from which there is no “vacation.” While people should feel free to enjoy a special meal out, a birthday party, or a happy holiday feast without feeling guilty, they should strive not to wander too far from the direction of balanced eating and daily physical activity.

Whoever does may find they lose focus. It is better to gain lost weight back than to lose it.

Weight loss can be accomplished and sustained when people embrace lifestyle changes in the long term.

Regardless of any particular strategies to help a person lose weight, individuals who are mindful of how and what they eat and participate in day-to-day physical activity or daily exercise would be effective in both losing weight and holding off excess.

Q:

I have an injury that is keeping me from physical exercise. Is there any way to continue keeping the weight off?

A:

If your injury allows, you can do some simple exercises while sitting in a chair, such as lifting light weights. You can also use resistance bands while sitting or lying down.

Some other ways to keep the weight off include counting calories and sticking to a healthful diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish, and whole grains.

Ensure that you include plenty of nutrient-dense foods in your diet, take the time to plan meals, use portion control, drink plenty of water, and maintain a positive attitude. Gerhard Whitworth, RN

Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

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Nutrition / Diet

How long does it take for kidney stones to pass?

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The kidneys are in charge of filtering the blood for urea and excess minerals. These substances are frequently excreted in the urine. Large concentrations of these minerals can, in some situations, build up in the kidneys, causing crystal-like stones.

Kidney stones can form in one or both kidneys. They may then flow thru the ureter, the tube that links the kidney to the bladder.

Small kidney stones usually pass thru without causing any problems and may not cause any symptoms. Larger stones can become lodged in the ureter and cause pain. They may cause issues such as infection and renal damage if they are not removed.

The speed with which a kidney stone passes can be influenced by a number of factors. More information on how long it takes to pass a kidney stone, how to speed up the process, and treatment options can be found in this article.

When to consult your doctor

doctor and patient

Smaller kidney stones may pass on their own, producing little pain. Large stones, on the other hand, can be uncomfortable and raise the risk of health problems.

Pain is a sign that a person needs to see a doctor. They’ll be able to tell if the stone has to be treated in any way to help it pass.

If people have any of the following symptoms, they should see a doctor:

  • blood in the urine
  • fever and chills
  • vomiting
  • severe and persistent pain in the back or side
  • cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • a burning feeling when urinating

These symptoms could indicate a kidney infection, which needs to be treated right once to avoid more serious problems.

Duration

Size and placement are the two key elements that determine how quickly a stone passes.

Size

A kidney stone’s size influences how rapidly it passes through a person’s body. Smaller stones pass more quickly and with less pain.

The approximate timelines for passing kidney stones of various sizes are listed below:

  • Around 80% of kidney stones with a size of less than 4 mm will pass on their own in around 31 days.
  • Around 60% of kidney stones with a diameter of 4–6 mm will pass on their own after 45 days.
  • Around 20% of kidney stones that are larger than 6 mm will pass on their own after a year. When stones are this large, however, it is better to consider surgical removal as soon as possible.

Location
The position of the kidney stone also has an impact on whether or not it can be passed naturally. Some stones develop in the kidney, whereas others develop in the ureter.

Kidney stones that form near the kidney form in the upper section of the ureter. Those that form near the bladder are those that form in the lower section.

According to a 2014 assessment of research, 48 percent of stones that develop near the kidney pass without intervention. For stones that grow close to the bladder, the percentage climbs to 79 percent.

How to speed up the process

Drinking enough of water is the best technique to assist speed up the passing of a kidney stone. The extra fluid increases urine, which aids in the movement of the stone.

A person can also take actions to avoid the formation of new stones and the growth of existing ones. These steps are as follows:

  • limiting protein intake
  • reducing calcium intake
  • consuming less salt
  • eating more citrus fruits

Citrus fruits contain the chemical citrate, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming.

Dietitians and doctors can also recommend food programmes for kidney stone management.

Pain relief remedies

Kidney stones can be inconvenient and even painful to pass. In certain circumstances, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen may be sufficient to relieve pain.

If a person’s kidney stones are especially painful, they should speak with their doctor, who may be able to prescribe stronger pain relievers.

Treatment and surgery

Kidney stones can be treated without surgery in a number of ways. These are some of them:

  • Alpha-blockers: These drugs relax the ureter, alleviating painful spasms and helping the stone pass.
  • Calcium channel blockers: These drugs widen the ureter, helping the stone pass through.
  • Lithotripsy: This procedure uses sound waves to break the stone into smaller fragments that can pass more easily.

Surgery is rarely the first treatment option. Kidney stones greater than 6 mm, on the other hand, necessitate emergency surgery. Large stones can become lodged in the ureter, resulting in infections and kidney damage.

Ureteroscopy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy are the two main surgical options for kidney stone removal.

A general anaesthesia is required during ureteroscopy. Using tiny instruments introduced via the urethra, the surgeon removes or breaks up the stone during the surgery. A stent may then be placed into the urethra to keep it open. This makes it easier for any little stone shards to flow through.

The surgeon removes very large stones measuring 10 mm or more during percutaneous nephrolithotomy. A tiny incision in the back is used to remove the stone directly from the kidney. The surgery necessitates a general anaesthesia and a one to two-day stay in the hospital.

Recovery

The time it takes to recuperate from a kidney stone is determined by how quickly it goes. The pain should go away fast if the stone passes naturally or with minimal medication.

If lithotripsy is performed as an outpatient operation, the patient should be able to return home the same day. The amount of time it takes to recover depends in part on the type of anaesthetic used.

If surgery is necessary, most people are able to resume most of their routine activities within a day of the procedure. People who receive a stent, on the other hand, should avoid high-intensity activities until the stent is removed by a medical practitioner. About a week after surgery, something happens.

Pain medicines may be used throughout recuperation.

Conclusion

Kidney stones are often unpleasant, and passing them through the body’s system might take many weeks. If a person’s stones become very painful or if they suffer other concerning symptoms, they should consult a doctor.

Kidney stones can be treated using a variety of methods. The goal of drug therapy is to relieve pain and suffering while also allowing the stone to pass more freely.

Kidney stones that are too large to pass naturally, on the other hand, may need to be surgically removed. Within a day or two of surgery, most people are able to resume their daily activities.

Sources:

  • https://www.urologyhealth.org/careblog/a-patients-guide-to-laser-treatment-for-urinary-stones
  • https://intermountainhealthcare.org/ext/Dcmnt?ncid=520728251
  • https://urology.wustl.edu/patient-care/kidney-stones/kidney-stones-overview/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326775
  • https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/selfcare-instructions/kidney-stones-self-care
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/kidney-stones/symptoms-causes
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897056/

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Alzheimer's / Dementia

Uses of vitamin B-12 level test: Normal ranges, and results

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The amount of vitamin B-12 in the blood or urine is measured in a vitamin B-12 level test to determine the body’s overall vitamin B-12 reserves.

Vitamin B-12 is required for a variety of body functions, including neuron function, DNA and red blood cell formation.

Treatment is required if a person’s vitamin B-12 levels fall outside of the usual range. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological symptoms as well as fatigue, constipation, and weight loss. B-12 levels that are too high could indicate liver disease, diabetes, or another condition.

Continue reading to learn more about B-12 testing and what the results indicate.

Purpose of a vitamin B-12 level test

worried lady

The vitamin B-12 level test determines the amount of vitamin B-12 in your body. Doctors can use the data to see if low vitamin B-12 levels are causing symptoms.

If a person exhibits any of the following symptoms, a doctor may recommend a vitamin B-12 level test:

Vitamin B-12 insufficiency

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is thought to affect up to 15% of people in the United States, according to research. The following are signs and symptoms of a deficiency:

  • fast heartbeat
  • numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • poor memory
  • a sore mouth or tongue
  • confusion
  • dementia
  • depression
  • difficulty maintaining balance

Vitamin B-12 deficiency in infants can cause them to underachieve. They may have mobility issues in addition to developmental delays.

Pernicious anaemia

A vitamin B-12 level test may be required for people who have signs of low iron. Pernicious anaemia is caused by a lack of vitamin B-12 absorption, resulting in poor red blood cell causes.

It usually affects the elderly or people who are deficient in intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a gastric material that binds to vitamin B-12 and allows it to be absorbed by the body.

The following are signs and symptoms of pernicious anaemia:

  • pale skin
  • weakness
  • weight loss
  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite

High levels of folate in the blood

The level of folic acid in the blood is known as serum folate. High levels of serum folate might disguise the signs and symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency, exacerbating the neurological symptoms.

They can also make you more susceptible to anaemia.

Symptoms of other illnesses

Vitamin B-12 levels that are unusually high can be a symptom of liver disease, diabetes, or certain types of leukaemia. The findings of a vitamin B-12 test may be used by a doctor to help them make a diagnosis.

Risk factors

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is more common in some people than in others, especially those with low stomach acid or other digestive problems. Stomach acid helps the body absorb vitamin B-12 more effectively by separating it from meals.

Low vitamin B-12 levels are more common in the following groups of people than in others:

  • people with conditions that reduce vitamin B-12 absorption, including celiac disease and Crohn’s disease
  • people who have had gastric bypass surgery
  • those who are breast-feeding
  • people who are taking medicines such as chloramphenicol, proton pump inhibitors, or H2 blockers
  • older adults
  • children
  • vegans and vegetarians
  • people with diabetes

How does the B-12 vitamin level test work?

Vitamin B-12 status is normally determined by a blood test, but home urine tests are now available. Vitamin B-12 levels can be checked as part of a routine blood test by a doctor.

Although fasting is not required before a B-12 test, it may be necessary if the doctor is utilising the test to check at other blood components.

It is important that patients inform their doctors about any medications or supplements they are taking, as some may have an impact on the outcome.

Acknowledging the results

The following are possible results:

  • Low. Vitamin B-12 levels below 200 pg/mL are considered low. This indicates that you may have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, pernicious anaemia, or an overactive thyroid. Neurological symptoms are common in people who have low vitamin B-12 levels.
  • High. Anything over 900 pg/mL is considered excessively high vitamin B-12 status. This result could indicate problems with the liver or kidneys, diabetes, or certain types of leukaemia.

Because the ranges of results differ from one laboratory to the next, it’s important to talk to a doctor about the results and what they signify.

To rule out vitamin B-12 deficiency, the doctor may measure levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA) and other chemicals. These lab results aid in the early detection of vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency treatment

Vitamin B-12 injections are frequently required by people who have low amounts of the vitamin. These shots are more successful at boosting vitamin B-12 levels than supplements, especially when people have medical issues that make supplements difficult to absorb.

High doses of vitamin B-12 supplements may help some people improve their B-12 status. Supplements are sold in the form of capsules or liquids in pharmacies, supermarkets, health food stores. It may also be beneficial to consume extra vitamin B-12-rich foods.

Treatment for high vitamin B-12 levels

There is no upper limit on vitamin B-12 consumption because high amounts do not cause problems. Having naturally high levels of vitamin B-12 in the body, on the other hand, could be cause for alarm, since it could indicate a serious underlying condition. Doctors will focus on treating the underlying medical condition rather than the vitamin B-12 levels.

Vitamin B-12  foods.

Eggs are rich in vitamin B-12.
Vitamin B-12 is abundant in eggs.

Although low vitamin B-12 levels are frequently caused by absorption problems and other medical conditions, some people may be deficient because they do not acquire enough vitamin B-12 through their food. This is especially true for vegans and vegetarians who have been vegetarian for a long time.

Vitamin B-12-rich foods include:

  • fortified plant-based dairy alternatives
  • fortified breakfast cereals
  • fortified nutritional yeast
  • fish and seafood
  • meat
  • eggs
  • dairy products

Vitamin supplements can help vegans and strict vegetarians make up for dietary deficiencies. Older persons should seek to achieve their vitamin B-12 needs through fortified meals and vitamin supplements, as supplements are simpler for their bodies to absorb than naturally occurring vitamin B-12.

Vitamin B-12 dietary recommendations

Vitamin B-12 is required in 2.4 micrograms (mcg) per day for adults and adolescents over the age of 14. During pregnancy, this rises to 2.6 mcg, and breast-feeding raises it to 2.8 mcg.

Conclusion

Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that is necessary for good health. The status of a person’s vitamin B-12 is determined by a vitamin B-12 level test. This test may be recommended by a doctor to people who have symptoms of a deficiency or who are at risk of having low vitamin B-12 levels in their bodies.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency can be avoided by eating a well-balanced diet that includes many sources of the vitamin on a daily basis, or by taking supplements. If they have trouble absorbing vitamin B-12 from food, oral supplements or injections can help them avoid symptoms and consequences.

Sources:

  • https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/106/6/505/1538806
  • https://labtestsonline.org/tests/methylmalonic-acid
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322286
  • https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/71/2/110/1940320
  • https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/
  • https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/b-12-deficiency/

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Nutrition / Diet

Uses, benefits, and side effects of vitamin B-12 shots

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Vitamin B12 shots are injections that a doctor may recommend to address a nutrient B12 deficiency, particularly if the body has trouble absorbing the vitamin.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a variety of health issues, from fatigue to permanent neurological abnormalities.

A doctor may recommend oral vitamin B12 supplementation or injections if a person’s vitamin B12 levels are low owing to a medical condition.

Injections are typically used by people who have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 or who have had stomach surgery. Shots allow the body to absorb vitamin B12 without having to pass it thru the digestive system.

The necessity of maintaining proper vitamin B12 levels is discussed in this article, as well as the benefits and risks of vitamin B12 shots.

Vitamin B12

vitamin B-12 shots

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is important for a variety of biological activities, including:

  • nerve cells
  • red blood cells
  • DNA production

Megaloblastic anaemia can make a person feel fatigued and weak if they don’t get enough vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 can be found in a variety of foods, including:

  • dairy products
  • nutritional yeast
  • some fortified foods
  • meat
  • fish
  • eggs

Vitamin B12 binds to protein molecules in animal-based diets. Stomach acid separates it from the protein during digestion, and a chemical called intrinsic factor causes the bloodstream to absorb it.

A condition known as autoimmune atrophic gastritis causes some people’s bodies to produce insufficient stomach acid or intrinsic factor. Vitamin B12 shots may be required for these people to lower their risk of deficiency, which can develop to pernicious anaemia.

Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery and whose digestive system is unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly may also require shots.

What dosage of vitamin B12 do We require?

The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for vitamin B12 are listed in the table below. The RDA is the minimal daily quantity required by the majority of healthy people in a certain group.

GroupAmount
0–6 months0.4 micrograms (mcg)
7–12 months0.5 mcg
1–3 years0.9 mcg
4–8 years1.2 mcg
9–13 years1.8 mcg
14+ years2.4 mcg
Pregnant people2.6 mcg
People who breastfeed2.8 mcg

A doctor, on the other hand, may provide advice on an individual’s specific needs.

Vitamin B12 shots

Vitamin B12 shots are a type of supplement that contains cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form of vitamin B12.

The shot will be administered by a doctor into the muscle. If they inject it into a vein, the body may lose a high amount of it through urine.

Cyanocobalamin is available in three different forms: liquid, tablet, and capsule. Certain foods, such as cereals, may be fortified with vitamin B12 in a synthetic form.

Who needs vitamin B12 shots?

Vitamin B12 injections can only be obtained with a prescription after a clinical diagnosis of low levels. Because the human liver accumulates vitamin B12 throughout time, low levels are uncommon in most healthy persons.

Some people, however, are at a higher risk of deficiency and may benefit from vitamin B12 injections or tablets.

Those suffering from vitamin B12 deficient symptoms

A doctor should be seen if you have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anaemia.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms:

  • difficulty thinking and remembering
  • fatigue
  • heart palpitations
  • pale skin
  • weight loss
  • infertility
  • numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • dementia
  • mood changes
  • a sore tongue
  • low appetite
  • constipation

Vitamin B12 deficiency risk factors

The following risk factors can increase the chance of developing vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • high alcohol consumption
  • older age
  • pernicious anemia
  • atrophic gastritis, which refers to inflammation in the stomach
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • a history of gastrointestinal surgery
  • following a plant-based diet
  • pancreatic insufficiency
  • AIDS
  • some hereditary conditions that affect vitamin B12 absorption

Those suffering from gastric people

Vitamin B12 release and absorption may be affected by gastrointestinal conditions.

These are some of them:

  • pernicious anemia, which can lead to gastric atrophy, or damage to the stomach
  • fish tapeworm infestation
  • bowel or pancreatic cancer
  • folic acid deficiency
  • overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine
  • celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease

People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, may have less of the cells that secrete stomach acid and intrinsic factor. Vitamin B12 absorption may be affected as a result of this.

Older adults

According to research published in 2015, vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in people over the age of 60, and certain people may benefit from vitamin B12 injections.

The researchers discovered that disorders linked to decreased stomach acid production, such as gastric atrophy, are more common in older persons. Low stomach acid also encourages the growth of some bacteria, which depletes vitamin B12 reserves.

Vegans and vegetarians

Because vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal sources, people who eat a plant-based diet are more likely to be vitamin B12 deficient.

In a 2010 study of 689 males, researchers discovered that those who ate a plant-based diet had greater rates of vitamin B12 insufficiency. Compared to just 1% of people who ate meat, over half of vegans and 7% of vegetarians had inadequate vitamin B12 levels.

Vitamin B12 is transferred to the infant through the placenta and breast milk, thus vegetarians and people who are pregnant may need to take supplements or eat fortified foods. If the baby is exclusively breastfed, he or she may not get enough vitamin B12. This can result in long-term and serious neurological problems.

A doctor may propose injections in rare circumstances, but research shows that taking extra vitamin B12 by mouth is just as beneficial as getting an injection in a muscle. It is also less expensive.

Benefits

Vitamin B12 shots may be recommended by a doctor for people who are at risk of deficiency or its repercussions.

Vitamin B12 injections may help to lower your risk of developing the following conditions:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • neurological disorders
  • problems with thinking and memory
  • vision loss
  • infertility
  • neural tube defects in children born to those with a vitamin B12 deficiency

Risks

Because the risk of toxicity or overdose is low, there is no upper limit for vitamin B12 intake. Vitamin B12 injections, on the other hand, may have unintended consequences.

If a person has any of the following symptoms, or if they persist or worsen, they should get medical help:

  • pain, redness, or itching at the site of the injection
  • mild diarrhea
  • a swelling sensation in the body
  • temporary itching of the skin

There may also be a risk of:

Anyone experiencing trouble breathing, hives, or swelling should seek immediate medical attention. They could be suffering from anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Drug interactions

Certain drugs may interact with vitamin B12. Before obtaining a vitamin B12 shot, people should always tell their doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications they are taking.

The following are some of the most regularly prescribed drugs that may interact with vitamin B12:

  • H2 receptor antagonists
  • metformin
  • proton pump inhibitors

Medical disorders and allergies

Before having a vitamin B12 shot, anyone with allergies or medical issues should always consult a doctor.

Shots of vitamin B12 may not be appropriate for those who have a history of:

  • hypokalemia, or low potassium levels
  • deficiencies in other nutrients, particularly folic acid and iron
  • sensitivity to vitamin B12
  • Leber’s disease, which affects the optic nerve
  • kidney problems

Conclusion

While most people obtain enough vitamin B12 from their diet, some people do not. This could be caused by low intrinsic factor levels in the digestive system, a digestive disease, or eating a plant-based diet.

The American Dietary Guidelines for 2020–2025 propose that vitamin B12 and other nutrients be met first and foremost through food.

If dietary sources are inadequate, a doctor may prescribe supplementation in the form of tablets or injections, depending on the cause of the deficiency.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441923/
  • https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10310/autoimmune-atrophic-gastritis
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2933506/
  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B12
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318216
  • https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=579bd1fe-51a1-403f-a422-0fb701aab57d
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/recommended-dietary-allowance
  • https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494183/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25756278/

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