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Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12, otherwise known as cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin.  B-12, when ingested, is absorbed in the small intestine and transported to the blood stream from there. Possible causes of poor absorption are related to acid content of the stomach and intestines, medication interference with acid content, concerns related to the gallbladder or removal of the gallbladder (because reabsorption of B-12 for circulation is via the bile from the gallbladder).

Being a vegetarian limits sources of B-12 from your diet. Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can cause B-12 deficiency as the bacteria use the B-12 for themselves decreasing what is available to your cells. Excess stress put on the body by either exercise or chronic medical conditions causes the body to use more resources for cell turnover and can decrease the amount of B-12 available for all of your needs.

Reasons you might get B-12 include feeling tired, having shortness of breath, insomnia, tingling and numbness in limbs, poor concentration and memory loss, having symptoms of IBS or being diagnosed with an IBD, and noticing a slow recovery after exercise.

How often would you get a B-12 intramuscular injection?

This depends on how B-12 deficient a person is, how well there digestive system is functioning, if they are taking proton pump inhibitors for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or Metformin for diabetes and what they are coming in for. More severe deficiencies may start out with weekly and move to monthly. 

Tests to assess B-12 deficiency include...

-Serum B-12

-Methylmalonic Acid (MMA)

You may also measure folate to rule out folate deficiency.