Vitamin B12 Side Effects

What You Need To Know Before Taking B12

People who are suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency experience many health problems.  Some of the more notable health conditions that these people experience include general feeling of weakness, lack of energy as well as lack of mental focus and loss of memory.

They may also suffer from depression and loss of appetite which leads to loss of weight. These are just some of the symptoms, there are many more. This condition must be corrected or they may lead to more serious conditions. Taking the right amounts of vitamin B12 supplements usually corrects the problem. Although there are no dangers in taking an overdose, you must also be aware of the adverse vitamin B12 side effects.

Types of People Suffering From Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Typically, the people who are affected by vitamin B12 deficiency fall into one of the following categories:

a) Those who are 50 years and older somehow lose their ability to absorb vitamin B12 from the foods they eat;
b) People who have undergone surgery in their intestines are prone to lose their capacity to absorb vitamin B12;
c) Those who have digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease or celiac’s disease have impaired abilities to absorb vitamin B12;
d) People who are strictly on vegetarian diets and don’t eat eggs or other dairy products.

Ways Vitamin B12 Is Administered
There are basically three ways by which vitamin B12 are administered. The most popular and the least expensive is by oral administration. This is in the form of capsules, tablets or syrups that you swallow. The second method which is more expensive is the sublingual method. Sublingual vitamin B12 is introduced under the tongue. The mucous membrane under your tongue is the thinnest and allows direct absorption of the vitamin into your bloodstream. The third method is by injection and this is the most expensive. This method is resorted to if the patient cannot absorb the vitamin through the first two methods.

Vitamin B12 Side Effects
Normally, taking vitamin B12 in right amounts will not produce any adverse vitamin B12 side effects. However, some studies have shown that there are verifiable side effects when vitamin B12 is injected. With this in mind, here are the following side effects that may result when administering vitamin B12 injections.

A) Mild Side Effects
• Pain and swelling of the skin where the injection is administered; Feeling of nausea and vomiting; Mild to severe headaches; Upset stomach and mild diarrhea; Slight joint pains; Skin rashes may arise.

B) Severe Side Effects
• Palpitation of the heart leading to shortness of breath; Chest pain, mild; Difficulty in swallowing; Feeling numb all over the body; Easily tired even with easy work; Frequent urination, especially at night; Sudden weight gain; Muscle cramps and weakness; Tight chest sensation; Muscle pains, particularly in the legs.

A number of medical practitioners believe that people suffer these vitamin B12 side effects not because of the vitamin itself but the preservatives that are used in the formula. At present, most of the injectable vitamin B12 contains preservatives. Therefore, only those who cannot take vitamin B12 orally or sublingually should resort to vitamin B12 injections.

C) Psychological Side Effects
Taking excessive amounts of vitamin B12 can also have adverse psychological effects. You can experience anxiety and panic attacks as well as insomnia. Usually these symptoms will disappear in a few hours as your urinary system eliminates the excess vitamin B12 in your system.

D) Uncommon Side Effects
Those who have a history of Leber’s disease in their family should first consult their doctor before taking vitamin B12 supplements. This is a hereditary condition that causes the optic nerve to atrophy. If you will take large doses of vitamin B12 and you have this medical condition, it may trigger the onset of this disease or may cause your optic nerve to deteriorate rapidly.

Other Medical Considerations
Adverse side effects may also be experienced if you are allergic or sensitive to cobalt and cobalamin. It is advisable for you to get your supply of vitamin B12 from natural foods and not from supplements. People who have undergone heart surgery and have coronary stents placed in their arteries can increase the possibility of narrowing their arteries again upon ingesting vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 along with other B vitamins is important in maintaining our overall health particularly the efficient functioning of our central nervous system. Neglecting our daily intake can have its toll. Preservatives present in injectable B12, although not toxic, can also have uncomfortable side effects. It is hoped that the information given above will impress the importance of just taking the right amount of this nutrient for the maintenance of our health.