Can B12 shots not work? Worse still, could B12 shots make you feel even more tired and fatigued than before starting the injections?
The answer is, absolutely not. However, it’s a complaint you might hear quite often.
Can B12 Injections Make You Tired?
No, they can’t. B12 shots work very well, but here’s a key thing to keep in mind:
Your current B12-related symptoms and well-being are largely reflective of your B12 status from 90 days ago. This is because the life cycle of red blood cells is 90 days. Every day, your body replaces 90-day-old cells with new ones. Vitamin B12 plays a crucial part in their formation. So, if you only started injecting a month ago, then only about a third of your total red blood cells were generated under a healthy B12 status.
In such cases, your anemia recovery will still be far from complete. For this reason, you may still feel tired and fatigued, even a month or two into your B12 injections. And it’s even worse for people who don’t inject on a daily basis:
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, so only a tiny bit is absorbed, and the rest is urinated out within hours. For that reason, you’ll want to inject daily. This way, you’ll keep B12 circulating in your system around the clock, ensuring adequate delivery to your cells and tissues, and the gradual correction of anemia. If you inject only once a week – or worse, once a month – you’ll barely see any improvement. This is crucial.
So, are your B12 injections not working? Chronic fatigue haunting you? Then your first step should be injecting daily for at least 90 days straight.
You must go through this phase before you draw conclusions.
Also, Ensure You Take a Correct Form of B12
Methyl B12 and adenosyl B12 are the most effective forms of B12. The two are native forms, and are superior to hydroxo B12 or cyano B12. Cyano B12 in particular should be avoided, especially in patients with pernicious anemia and/or with high homocysteine. The depletion of glutathione (an antioxidant needed to remove the cyanide from cyano B12) may increase homocysteine, thus only making things worse for these patients.
We like methyl B12 the most, because it comes bundled with a valuable methyl donor, a detoxifying agent to further boost your health. Also, in most people, methyl and adenosyl B12 can inter-convert easily, so the exclusive supplementation of methyl B12 is enough in most cases. Methyl B12 is especially good in reducing homocysteine, thus solving two problems at once for many patients. For this reason, it is our form of choice here.
So, Anything to Worry About?
If you consider discontinuing the shots because your daily B12 injections aren’t working, or because chronic fatigue is still bothering you, it might be that you haven’t given them enough time to work. B12 shots can’t make you sleepy or tired, but B12 deficiency can, and is most likely the reason you suffer from the chronic fatigue in the first place.
So, continue injecting daily for at least three months. Only then should you gauge the improvement in your anemia and overall well-being.