June 22, 2024

B12 Injections: Pernicious Anemia or Weight Loss Cure?

In my inbox today I received a groupon ad, as I do most days.  Today’s threw me for a loop.  I have Pernicious Anemia, an autoimmune disease, and for those of you who are unaware of this condition, or what it entails, please see this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pernicious_anemia.

There are a host of symptoms that are associated with this diagnosis and I have them listed below.  In order to remedy these issues, I take an injection of B12 that I administer myself into my thigh muscle every six days.  B12 is a vitamin that is found in many energy drinks in place of massive amounts of caffeine.  It can boost metabolism and increase your energy level.

For me, I am usually at around 30% of my normal B12 level.  Another thing you should know is that the body does not produce B12, instead it is absorbed by your body’s “Intrinsic Factor”.  (again you can google this so I don’t have to include too much medical jargon)  I do not have a functioning Instrinsic Factor, therefor I cannot absorb the necessary B12 that my body requires to maintain normal functions.  My B12 shot helps to temporarily remedy the situation and allow my body to resume MOST of the normal functions.

The reason this groupon (see link below) troubles me so much is that it’s FOR B12 injections.  They are claiming that is it a way to boost your metabolism and increase weight loss.  They are rather expensive too.  My prescription for approximately 10 shots or 2 months with my insurance is around $10-$20 depending on the pharmacy location and vial size.  It makes me feel slighted that the Wellness Plus Clinic would offer this as a weight loss solution and completely negate the fact that this should be viewed as a resource for those with an actual medical condition.

My Warning: If you would like to know how these injections affect me, keep reading.  BUYER BEWARE: I do experience weight loss with my shot, but instead of it being a “happy, happy, joy joy” moment for me, it is a real concern.  It is hard for me to keep weight on my body.  I struggle with low body weight and a host of other issues, like pain at the site of the injection.  There is also redness at the injection site.  It can itch for hours afterwards.  In my humble opinion, this should be viewed as a medical resource, NOT a quick fix for body change.  Just to give you further insight into my experience, there are some pictures below of when I have actually administered my shot.  This may be viewed as graphic for some, but honestly raising the awareness for PA is well worth showing off my pasty white skin.

As a former personal trainer, I can confidently say that diets and quick-fix programs DO NOT WORK.  If you would like to lose weight or tone your body or change your outlook on your figure, the answer is simple.  Change the ratio of your calorie intake versus calorie output.  If you want to maintain, keep them at the same level.  If you want to drop a few pesky pounds, take in less than you put out.  There is no magical formula that will work long term other than this.  Period.


Here is the list for the ton of symptoms of PA from Wikipedia:

A complication of severe chronic PA is subacute combined degeneration of spinal cord, which leads to distal sensory loss (posterior column), absent ankle reflex, increased knee reflex response, and extensor plantar response.


In the images below, you will notice bruising and redness.  These are common occurrences with these injections.

          ~This is an image of my “kit” as I refer to it.  I have my vials, alcohol to swab my thigh and the vial, and my needles.

          ~ This is  the needle in my thigh, pretty self-explanatory. Although, I will say, taking a picture while a needle is in your leg… not the easiest thing to do.



          ~ Remember the redness and soreness I mentioned… Here’s an image for you.  It looks similar to a spider or other severe insect bite.

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