Test Results & Interpretations
When you have an abnormal complete blood count (CBC) with a blood smear showing large red blood cells (macrocytosis) or abnormal (hypersegmented) neutrophils; when you have symptoms of anemia (weakness, tiredness, pale skin) and/or of neuropathy (tingling or itching sensations, eye twitching, memory loss, altered mental status); when you are being treated for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.
Why Get Tested
- If you have symptoms of anemia like weakness, tiredness, pale skin
- If you have an abnormal complete blood count and your blood smear shows large red blood cells or neutrophils with more than 5 lobes
- If you have symptoms or signs of nerve problems like numbness, burning in hands, feet, arms,tingling sensation
- If you are being treated with vitamin B12 or folate therapy
- Folate levels in blood may vary based on your recent diet. Since your red blood cells store 95% of circolating folate, your doctor may order a test to measure the folate level within RBC’s
No special preparation required
Low levels of folate in the blood may indicate:
- Folic acid deficiency anemia
- Malabsorption syndromes
- Chronic alcoholism
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I take just folic acid if I have combined B12 and folate deficiency?
If you have combined deficiency of B 12 and folic acid and you just take folate, your anemia will improve but the neurological complications will progress. Therefore, it is essential to take both supplementations.
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