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Vitamin B12

850510
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4.4
NABL, CAP, ISO
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Overview
Interpreting Results
FAQ's
Vitamin B12

Overview of Vit B12

What is Vit B12?

Vitamin B12 test measures the levels of Vitamin B12 in blood. It plays an important role in the formation of healthy red blood cells, smooth functioning of the brain, and metabolism (processing) of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the food. Vitamin B12 is said to be a micronutrient which means it is needed in very small amounts.

Why is Vit B12 done?

The Vitamin B12 test is performed:

  • To diagnose anemia

  • To diagnose neuropathy (numbness and pain due to nerve damage)

  • To evaluate nutritional status

  • To monitor the treatment for Vitamin B12


What does Vit B12 Measure?

Vitamin B12 is a part of B complex of vitamins. Vitamin B12 is also called as Cobalamin. It is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in formation of normal red blood cells, repair of tissues, DNA synthesis and genetic material in cells. It is not produced in the body and has to be taken in diet. The diet sources include red meat, fish, milk, poultry, yoghurt, eggs, fortified cereals, breads and other grain products. It can also be taken in the form of Vitamin B12 tablets or multivitamin pills. The deficiency of Vitamin B12 results in macrocytic anemia (size of red blood cells larger than normal).

Megaloblastic anemia is a type of macrocytic anemia, in which large size red blood cells called as macrocytes are produced. These red blood cells are fewer in number. There is a decrease in white blood cell count and platelet count. Megaloblastic anemia occurs due to acquired deficiency of Vitamin B12. The reason can be an inadequate dietary intake of Vitamin B12 or any problem in the absorption of Vitamin B12 from the intestines.

In case of problem in the absorption of Vitamin B12 from intestines, it is known as Pernicious anemia. It occurs due to lack of intrinsic factor which is present in secretions of the stomach.

Vitamin B12 is also important for nerve health and is taken as a nutritional supplement for the treatment of nerve damage.

Vitamin B12 binds with intrinsic factor (protein secreted by cells in the stomach). After binding, a complex is formed which is absorbed by the small intestine. In case of any disease interfering in this process can cause weakening of absorption of Vitamin B12.   

Preparation for Vit B12

  • Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 8-12 hours before the test.

Sample Type for Vit B12

The sample type collected for Vitamin B12 is: Blood

Interpreting Vit B12 results

Interpretations

The normal range is 211 - 911 pg/mL irrespective of sex and age.

High levels of Vitamin B12 may be seen in:

  • Kidney failure

  • Diabetes

  • Liver disease


Low levels of Vitamin B12 may be seen in:

  • Anemia

  • Hyperthyroidism (high levels of thyroid)

  • Worm infection


Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vit B12

Frequently Asked Questions about Vitamin B12

Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm, generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood. This makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. The needle is then inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample, once collected, is then sent to the laboratory.
Q. Is there any risk associated with this test?
There is no risk associated with the test. However, since this test involves a needle prick to withdraw the blood sample, in very rare cases, a patient may experience increased bleeding, hematoma formation (blood collection under the skin), bruising or infection at the site of needle prick.
Q. What are the risks associated with deficiency of Vitamin B12?
If deficiency of Vitamin B12 is not treated quickly, it can lead to memory loss, confusional states, paranoia (mental condition in which person loses touch with reality) especially in old age patients.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
The signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include confusional states, paranoia, dizziness, diarrhea, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, pale skin, fast heart rate, irregular heart beats, shortness of breath, painful tongue and mouth, tingling or numbness or burning sensation in feet, hands, arms and legs.
Q. When does the doctor advise Vitamin B12 test?
The doctor advises Vitamin B12 test in people with a history of malnutrition or any condition leading to malabsorption (improper absorption).
Q. In what conditions there can be malabsorption of Vitamin B12 test?
Conditions like pernicious anemia (decrease in red blood cells due to deficiency of Vitamin B12), celiac disease (immune reaction to gluten), inflammatory bowel diseases (inflammation of digestive tract), overgrowth of bacteria or presence of parasites such as tapeworms in intestines, reduction in stomach acid production (due to long term use of antacids), gastric bypass (surgery that removes part of stomach), insufficiency of pancreas (inability to digest food properly).
Q. Can any medicine cause deficiency of Vitamin B12?
Yes, some medicines such as metformin, omeprazole, methotrexate or phenytoin can cause deficiency of Vitamin B12.
Q. Are there any other factors which cause deficiency of Vitamin B12?
Yes, factors such as smoking, drinking heavy alcohol or chronic (from a long time) alcoholism, pregnancy can cause deficiency of Vitamin B12.
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About Pathcare Laboratories Ltd.

www.pathcarelabs.com

User Reviews about Vitamin B12

S
Swadesh Tiwari
Excellent work.
A
Abhi
Very nice service and technician was very good
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