Serum B12 Test
Vitamin B12 Test – This test is used to find out the conventional Vitamin-B12 levels in the blood.
What is Vitamin-B12?
Vitamin-B12 is an essential vitamin that is naturally present in milk, fish, meat, eggs, poultry, etc. It is also known as cobalamin. Vitamin-B12 is required for the body for the good health of the blood and nerve cells. It also helps in the synthesis of DNA which is genetic material in all cells.
Vitamin-B12 is absorbed by the body in 2 steps. At first hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates Vitamin-B12 that is attached to the food. Then it combines to the transcobalamin (TC) and haptocorrin (HC) which are proteins made by the stomach and form complexes called holotranscobalamin (HoloTC) and holohaptocorrin (HoloHC). HoloTC is also known as active-B12 as this is the only form of vitamin-B12 that is taken up and used by the cells of the body.
Why Vitamin B12 test is performed?
The Vitamin-B12 Conventional Blood Test is performed to check whether an individual is having normal or abnormal levels of Vitamin-B12 in the blood. The doctor may ask to perform this test if an individual is suffering from conditions like pernicious anemia (decrease in red blood cells as the body cannot absorb enough vitamin-B12), inflammatory bowel disease (inflammation of the digestive tract), Crohn’s disease (redness and swelling in the lining of the digestive tract), chronic alcoholism (heavy drinking of alcohol), liver disease, heart failure, obesity etc. This test is also done to determine the risk of developing anemia.
If symptoms like decreased appetite, trouble walking, weak muscles, weight loss, fast heart rate, irritability, lack of energy etc are seen in an individual then the doctor may prefer to do this test. If an individual is on the treatment of vitamin-B12 then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and vitamin-B12 levels in the body. This helps the doctor to rule out the patient disease condition.
Generally, when a patient is diagnosed with liver disease, intestinal disorders or malnutrition visits hospital for a general check-up, the doctor may ask to undergo the conventional vitamin-B12 blood test which gives a better status of the condition. This test is also performed to provide a clear idea regarding the malnutrition, liver disease of an individual. Mostly, this test is done along with other vitamin tests to confirm the diagnosis.
- Overnight fasting is preferred
- Doctor’s prescription may be needed
- The normal test result may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
- If you have been diagnosed with pernicious anemia, your doctor may advise you to get this test done once every 3 months to once in a year based on your clinical condition.
- Drugs containing estrogens, vitamin-A, and vitamin-C may affect the test results.
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