Vitamin B12 Level Test

The vitamin B12 level is a blood test that measures how much vitamin B12 remains in your blood. The test also known as Cobalamin test; Pernicious anemia – vitamin B12 level.

Vitamin B12 Level (Cobalamin) Test

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is required.

How to Prepare for the Test

You should not eat or drink for about 6 to 8 hours before the test.

Particular medicines might affect the outcomes of this test. Your healthcare supplier will tell you if you need to stop taking any medications. DO NOT stop any medication before speaking to your service provider.

Medicines that can impact the test result consist of:

  • Colchicine
  • Neomycin
  • Para-aminosalicylic acid
  • Phenytoin

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is placed to draw blood, some individuals feel moderate pain. Others feel just a prick or stinging. Later, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is frequently done when other blood tests suggest a condition called megaloblastic anemia. Pernicious anemia is a kind of megaloblastic anemia triggered by poor vitamin B12 absorption. This can occur when the stomach makes less of the compound the body needs to appropriately take in vitamin B12.

Your supplier may likewise recommend a vitamin B12 test if you have certain nervous system symptoms. A low level of B12 can cause numbness or tingling in the limbs, weak point, and vertigo.

Other conditions for which the test may be done consist of:

  • Unexpected severe confusion (delirium).
  • Loss of brain function (dementia).
  • Dementia due to metabolic causes.

Normal Ranges

Normal worths are 200 to 900 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among various laboratories. Some labs use various measurements or might test various samples. Talk with your supplier about what your specific test results mean.

Abnormal Ranges

Worths of less than 200 pg/mL are a possible sign of a vitamin B12 shortage. Individuals with this shortage are most likely to have or develop symptoms.

Older adults with vitamin B12 levels in between 200 and 500 pg/mL might likewise have symptoms. Shortage must be confirmed by checking the level of a compound in the blood called methylmalonic acid. A high level shows a true B12 shortage.

Causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include:.

  • Inadequate vitamin B12 in diet (unusual, except with a rigorous vegetarian diet).
  • Illness that cause malabsorption (for instance, celiac disease and Crohn disease).
  • Lack of intrinsic element, a protein that assists the intestine take in vitamin B12.
  • Above normal heat production (for example, with hyperthyroidism).
  • Pregnancy.

An increased vitamin B12 level is uncommon. Generally, excess vitamin B12 is gotten rid of in the urine.

Conditions that can increase B12 level consist of:

  • Liver disease (such as cirrhosis)
  • Myeloproliferative disorders (for instance, polycythemia vera and chronic myelogenous leukemia).

Risks Assosiated with Vitamin B12 Level Test

There is very little risk included with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from someone to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some individuals might be harder than from others.

Other dangers associated with having actually blood drawn are minor, but may include:

  • Extreme bleeding.
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded.
  • Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin).
  • Infection (a small risk at any time the skin is broken).

Last Update - October 20, 2017

References

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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