Vitamin B12 is essential nutrient for the body for DNA, RBC production and nerve function. People with Vitamin B12 level out of normal range need treatment. While low level of this vitamin cause neurological problems, weight loss and constipation and fatigue higher level can indicate diabetes and liver disease as well. Continue reading this blog to know about Vitamin B12 test.
What is the use of Vitamin B12 level test?
The test for Vitamin B12 checks its level in your body. Accordingly, doctor will provide help after determining if abnormal level causes symptoms. Furthermore, doctor will recommend the test in the case the person experience any of following issues:
Suspicious deficiency of Vitamin B12
Certain people can have Vitamin deficiency. Symptoms and signs of such problem are:
- Sore tongue or mouth
- Poor memory
- Tingling and numbness in feet and hands
- Fast heartbeat
- Balance maintenance difficulty
Newborn babies with B12 have mere chances of survival. Apart from delayed development they will experience movement problems as well.
If any patients have pernicious anaemia then it is necessary to perform Vitamin B12 test. This problem occurs due to low RBCs level and inability for consumptions of B12.
It can invade the body of aged people as well if they lack from intrinsic factor. This is a common substance in stomach which sticks to Vitamin allowing the body for absorption.
The symptoms of this problem are:
- Weight loss
- Pale skin
- Appetite loss
High level of serum folate
Serum folate is the folic acid level in blood. Due to lack of B12, your serum forate can increase making you experience neurological problems. Even it heightens the chance of anaemia.
Other conditions and associated symptoms
Certain patients have incredibly high Vitamin level. It is the warning stage of numerous problems like leukemia, diabetes and liver disease. B12 test will let the doctor to diagnose effectively and start the treatment accordingly.
Risk factors for lower Vitamin B12 levels
Many people are highly risk for B12 in contrary to others who are having digestive problems and lower stomach acid. It separates the nutrient from food enabling the body to absorb it effectively.
The people who are prone to have Vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Patients who are taking medications like H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, chloramphenicol
- Breast-feeding women
- Patients who had gastric bypass surgery
- Patients with conditions like Crohn’s disease and celiac disease lessening the absorption of Vitamin B12
- Diabetic patients
- Vegetarians and vegans
- Elderly people
How Vitamin B12 test level performs?
Doctor mainly uses vitamin b12 blood test for ensuring its level. However, you can also avail the home urine test kits. Doctors only assess the level as part of standard tests of blood. There is no need of fasting prior to B12 test, but you may have to do so in case the test is for having an eye on other components as well.
Before undergoing the test, you must share about the supplements and medications you are taking as it can affect your blood test results.
Know the results
The results will:
- High- In case any person has abnormally higher level of B12 that is about 900pg/mL then they will refer for many types of leukemia, diabetes, kidney or liver problems.
- Low- You have lack of B12 if the level is <200pg/mL. At that time, doctor will diagnose you with overactive thyroid, pernicious anaemia and deficit of the level. With such low level of Vitamin, patients will usually experience neurological problems.
However, the ranges of the result vary from a lab to another. So, despite the result you must discuss it with the doctor. They will also evaluate the level of MMA (methylmalonic acid) along other substances for determining the deficiency of B12 level. It helps in detecting the any problem in their initial stages.
Treatment for lower Vitamin B12 level
If you have lower B12 level then regular injections will need to cover the deficiency. Such shots are highly efficient over supplements to increase the level of Vitamin in case the patients have any health issue to absorb supplements.
High doses of supplements for B12 increase the status of B12 in the body. You can avail the supplements in the form of liquid or capsule online, health stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. Consumption of foods good source enriched with Vitamin is highly helpful too.
Treatment for higher B12 level
No limit is there to intake B12 as high level is not such a big issue. But if you naturally have high B12 level then it is warning concern which you should address. Sometimes, it can happen because of any underlying medical complexity. At that time, doctor will try to treat the problem instead of declining the level of Vitamin B12.
Food sources for Vitamin B12 level
Certain medical complications and absorption difficulties lead to lower Vitamin level. Many people have lack of B12 due to the diet. It is widely common in long-term vegetarians and vegans.
Foods which are good source of Vitamin B12 are:
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Fortified plant-oriented dairy alternatives
- Dairy products
- Seafood and fish
Supplement of Vitamin lags a bit in the diet of vegetarians and vegans. But young people can easily absorb B12 supplements for the body from the food source. Only aged persons need to maintain the level of Vitamin via vitamin supplements and fortified foods.
Suggested dietary allowances for Vitamin B12
Adolescents and adults about 14 years of age need to take 2.4 mcg of B12 regularly. But it should increase to 2.6mcg at the time of pregnancy and 2.8mcg at the time of breastfeeding.
Vitamin B12 is important which plays a crucial role in the overall health. Vitamin B12 blood test helps in the determination of the status of Vitamin B12 in the patient’s body. Doctor suggests the patients about this test with who experience certain symptoms of higher and deficit level of B12.
The problem is easy to solve using balanced diet and taking Vitamin B12 from multiple sources. In case you have problem to consume the B12 through food then injections and oral supplements for preventing further complications and symptoms.