Worth a shot

by Khushboo on November 5, 2012

Hey guys!  Before I start this post, I just want to remind you that I am not a doctor.  This is all just based on my experience, so please consult with your GP before trying anything new.

Now that my legal liabilities are taken care of, let’s get cracking.  I knocked off quite a few things on my to-do list this weekend including one that I have been procrastinating about for the last 2 weeks: “Go for a vitamin B shot”.  As unappealing as needles tend to be, these shots are also very necessary for me.  My energy levels lately have been flagging and sleep is definitely not the cause.  If anything, I pride myself for being able to pass out for at least 7-8 hours every night.  As for other possible reasons why I constantly feel drained, there are only so many times I can blame the heat or my menstrual cycle.  There are also only so many cups of coffee that I can drink ;) .

About 15 months ago, a blood test revealed that I was borderline deficient in vitamin B12.  While there are various symptoms of this deficiency, I’ve only ever experienced tiredness and the occasional lightheadedness. The B12 vitamins are great energy boosters, as they enable the red blood cells to carry oxygen more efficiently and optimally.  I am not particularly surprised as very few foods, unless fortified, are rich in B12 :

  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Caviar
  • Octopus
  • Fish
  • Mutton
  • Beef
  • Cheese

Aside from eggs & small amounts of cheese & fish during the week, my intake of the rest is a big fat zero.

Initially I opted for oral supplementation but I’ll be honest: I am terrible about remembering to take my pills.  I actually have an alarm that goes off on my phone every other Thursday at 10 pm to remind me about taking my sachet of vitamin D.  But yeah, that’s a whole different story.  Even though shots are the more painful option, they also mean that I only have to worry about B12 once every 6 weeks.

If I were a mom, I probably wouldn’t find this as hilarious ;)

In terms of efficiency, I’m also better off with the injections as they directly deliver the vitamin into the bloodstream.  Alternatively, oral supplementation requires many hours for digestion and would lose much value along the way.  For the sake of comparison, a B12 tablet leaves you with only 1.2% of B12 in the tablet whereas a shot will lose very little, if any.  Fortunately vitamin B12 can be consumed in large doses because the excess is excreted by the body or stored in the liver for use when supplies are scarce.

Maybe it’s a placebo effect or maybe it really does help but whatever it is, I almost always feel significantly better after taking a shot.  If only I could say the same about alcoholic shots ;) !

Do you take any supplements?  If so, what?

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Hansa November 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I am a mom, your mom and I don’t find the pic funny. Just kidding, it’s hilarious

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I think I’ll be having the last laugh, mate :)

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Parita November 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I didn’t even know this shot existed. I’m glad you’re feeling better from it!

I’m terrible with remembering to take any sort of pills. TERRIBLE! But lately, I’ve been good about taking a multivitamin and fish oil supplelement.

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Have you noticed any differences since taking the fish oil supplement?

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TorontoRunner November 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

It sounds like the B12 shot is the way to go for you and your body. I’m glad it helps you!
Also, I am theee worst at taking pills/remember as well!

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Glad I’m not the only one ;) !

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Alex @ therunwithin November 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm

so interesting, I didn’t even know they made shots of that. i am glad you are feeling better though, that is what really matters however you have to get it!

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Exactly…and right now shots are just the easiest form of me getting it! :)

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Alexis @ Hummusapien November 6, 2012 at 12:51 am

I work with a lot of patients that have to get B vitamin shots because they’re missing parts of their bowel where these vitamins are absorbed. So glad you’re feeling better from the energy boost!

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

That’s interesting to know about where vitamin B is absorbed :) ! How often do they take the shots?

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honeywhatscooking November 6, 2012 at 3:23 am

Wow, I didn’t know you can get a B12 shot. my husband is deficient in B12. I’ll let him know. I do take the gummy bear multivitamin if I remember. It tastes just like candy so I don’t forget when I see it. I’m not that good at taking vitamins though, I need to start. Good article.!

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Have you heard of Adora? They’re a calcium supplement made up of chocolate…calcium enough, chocolate is enough reason for me to start taking them :) !

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

Eep… I’m definitely not so good with the shots. I used to take a b supplement for a while but stopped a few months back and I’m still feeling pretty good. Pretty much all I take now is D and calcium/magnesium… But I’ve definitely heard that vitamin b is linked to energy and the ability to handle stress better, so I think it’s great that you’re staying on top of it.

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm

After seeing Adora across the blog world, I definitely think I need to start taking calcium supplements ;) !

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Gayatri November 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

I don’t take any vitamins but I think I need to start. I just haven’t been feeling 100% lately (and by that I mean since 2010) so I need to introduce something new into my diet/intake. Might try these shots when I’m in Bbay next and see if they work.

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

It might be worth a shot (pun obviously intended) trying out these vitamin B injections…especially if you aren’t feeling 100% :) !

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ritika November 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

i had no idea such a shot existed, however when it comes to vitamins, i am pretty old school, getting my required dosage from food. i hear rice is also a good source of b12, but due to all the bad rap, it has nearly left our kitchen.

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Thanks for pointing out about rice. I should look into it, especially as I am a fan of brown rice!

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish November 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Vitamin B12 supplementation was a hot topic in my sports nutrition class last year! My professor was adamant that very few people–including athletes–need to supplement, as long as they’re eating a balanced diet. A few of my fitness professional classmates raised a stink, claiming that supplementation continuously results in increased energy among many of their clients (and themselves). The diverging viewpoints created quite a lively debate! ;)

At the time, I knew little about the benefits of B12 supplementation, but now that I understand the nutritional attributes of the vitamin, I always perk up when it’s being discussed. My personal opinion is this: people should supplement if it makes them feel better! Period. :) As you said, B12 is super safe, so there’s no need to worry about overdose. If those shots make you feel good, then keep ‘em up!

Like you, I’m *terrible* about remembering to take supplements. I recently started keeping a container of Vitamin D on my dresser, which also functions as a primping station. Whenever I’m putting on my makeup, I see the container, and remember to take the pill! The only other supplement I take is a multi-vitamin. And the only reason I remember to take it is because it’s in gummy bear-form. I LOVE being able to justify gummy bear consumption in the name of health! :-p

xoxo <3

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Haha who knew that vitamins could be so controversial ;) ! I completely agree about your take on vitamins. Even with those vitamins where there is a risk of overdose, we’re talking EXTREME amounts. And so on that note, you keep eating your gummies :D !

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig November 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I might have to get myself tested! I eat a lot of the foods on the list, but I could still be deficient. I’ve been so tired lately, and been sleeping so much. On Saturday night, I slept for 10 hours but then almost fell asleep at 6.30pm on Sunday! It took all my effort to stay awake until 9pm, and I have no idea why :S

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Blame it on the weather! This time of year in London especially makes me so lazy…damn cold!

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Prachi November 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Recently two of my friends have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency and have had to take shots. However, I was under the impression that it was more common amongst vegetarians.
Once I found out that tiredness was a symptom I got myself checked, only to find out I am Anaemic. So it’s the iron supplements for me.

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I am also borderline anaemic and apparently vitamin B deficiency is sometimes a cause. Funny how they all link up ultimately!

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Jess November 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Glad you are taking care of yourself. I didn’t even know you could have vitamin shots. Sounds great, I’m the worst about taking medicine!!! Actually just reading about how much you felt better made me feel a bit more energized! Haha Placebo effect is getting me! :)

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Khushboo November 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Hahaha glad I could add some pep to your step ;) !

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Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health November 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I am glad the energy level is getting better with those shots. I have never taken those shots but if you are deficient and still feel tired, chances are your body needs B12 and like you mentioned its very efficient compared to pills. however, getting those vitamins from food is the best option because along with vitamin b12 you get other essential nutrients you body needs- that is dietitian in me talking :P but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do you know, be it coffee, nap or b12 shots :)

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Khushboo November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I completely agree with you food being the best option in terms of getting our vitamins….if only I could handle octopus or mutton ;) !

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Allie November 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I take a bunch of vitamins on a daily basis, but yeah, I have no idea if they do anything or not. But I feel good about taking them! And if nothing else, at least it doesn’t hurt. Although shots do hurt. I’m glad I’m pretty good at taking pills–I forget every so often, but I figure a day off from vitamins isn’t going to leave me nutritionally-void anyway.

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Khushboo November 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Definitely not…as long as you’re feeling fine, I can’t see the problem of missing a few days every so often!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 7, 2012 at 3:09 am

My mom gets these! She swears by them. I chew my B-12 every day in case it works… but I don’t think it’s enough to make a difference.

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Khushboo November 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I am glad to hear that you’re mom swears by them too…maybe it’s not all in my head and the effects are actually for real :D

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Brittany November 7, 2012 at 4:51 am

This is so bizarre to me seeing as how B vitamins are water soluble and you loose them in your urine frequently. Maybe that’s just for the pills and for edible vitamins?? If this shot works for you then keep it up! I take B12 too, since I am a vegan and I take a regular B vitamin. Along with VitC and VitD on occasion.

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Khushboo November 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hmm maybe just the excess is lost in urine? Good point raised!

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Priyanka November 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

I take my multivitamins and calcium daily. I was really horrible at taking it everyday but 9 months of prenatal vitamin without fail has been good practice :)

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Khushboo November 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Haha nothing like being responsible for someone else’s health to motivate you to take your vitamins!

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Katy November 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I should probably do a test too because I’m probably lacking a lot of vitamins and nutrients in my diet. You should eat more fish… it’s so yummy! I love cooking it Chinese-style with soy sauce, ginger and scallions.

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Khushboo November 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I really should eat more fish…especially as I always love it when I do eat it!

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