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Why Vitamin B12 Testing Is Important

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Why Vitamin B12 Testing Is Important

Health and Wellness Screening Services at CCH offers many different screenings including Vitamin B12 testing. Below is an article from Healthline on what Vitamin B12 is and why testing is important.

What is a vitamin B-12 deficiency?

Vitamin B-12 is an important vitamin for many bodily functions, such as brain health, blood cell production, and proper nerve functioning. There are several ways to test your B-12 levels. You can get your blood drawn or take a home urine test. These tests will look at the levels of your:

  • overall vitamin B-12

  • methylmalonic acid (MMA)

  • homocysteine

  • holotranscobalamin (holoTC)

Low B-12 levels can lead to:

  • permanent nerve damage

  • deteriorating brain functions

  • memory loss

  • temporary infertility in women

People who are obese or eat a lot of meat also tend to have higher-than-normal levels. High levels of vitamin B-12 can be a sign of liver disease, certain types of leukemia, or diabetes.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a common condition. Between 1.5 and 15 percent of Americans have low levels of vitamin B-12, according to the National Institutes of Health. Many people, especially older adults and people with intestinal disorders, have trouble absorbing vitamin B-12 from food and oral supplements.

When does your doctor order a vitamin B-12 test?

Your doctor might recommend a B-12 test if you have:

You may also take this test if your doctor suspects you might have pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is a reduction in red blood cells. It occurs when your intestines can’t absorb vitamin B-12, which is necessary for red blood cell production. Symptoms are not often seen in people younger than 30 years old. The average age of diagnosis is 60.

Symptoms of this condition include:

High serum folate levels

Your doctor might also test your vitamin B-12 levels if you have high serum folate levels. High serum folate levels may mask vitamin B-12 deficiency and worsen the symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Serum folate measures the level of folic acid in the blood. Folic acid is necessary for your body’s growth and development and the production of red and white blood cells and platelets.

Read more about the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency »

Campbell County Health's low cost, walk-in blood draw program makes it easy and affordable for residents to get a Vitamin B12 test. You can schedule your appointment online HERE. Have questions? Give Health and Wellness Screenings a call at 307-688-8051.

Article Source: Healthline- What Is a Vitamin B-12 Test?
  • Category: Wellness