A vitamin B-12 level test determines a person’s vitamin B-12 status. A doctor may recommend this test to people who have symptoms of a deficiency or who have a higher risk of low vitamin B-12 in the body.
What does B12 show up as on blood test?
B12 and folate levels may be ordered when a complete blood count (CBC) and/or blood smear, done as part of a health checkup or an evaluation for anemia, shows a low red blood cell (RBC) count, decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit, and the presence of large RBCs.
Why would my doctor check my B12?
This test is most often done when other blood tests suggest a condition called megaloblastic anemia. Pernicious anemia is a form of megaloblastic anemia caused by poor vitamin B12 absorption. This can occur when the stomach makes less of the substance the body needs to properly absorb vitamin B12.
What are the neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency?
A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as:
- vision problems.
- memory loss.
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- loss of physical co-ordination (ataxia), which can affect your whole body and cause difficulty speaking or walking.
Why do I need a B12 blood test?
Different types of blood tests can be carried out to help identify people with a possible vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. These tests check: whether you have a lower level of haemoglobin (a substance that transports oxygen) than normal. whether your red blood cells are larger than normal.
Should I be worried if my B12 is high?
Though daily high doses of B12 are unlikely to cause harm in most people, extremely high doses should be avoided unless prescribed by a healthcare professional. If you think you may be deficient in B12, speak with your doctor, who can recommend an appropriate treatment based on your level of deficiency.
At what level should B12 be treated?
But a normal level of vitamin B12 in your bloodstream is generally between 190 and 950 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL). Between 200 to 300 pg/mL is considered borderline and your doctor may do more testing. Below 200 pg/mL is low and more testing is needed.
Can Vitamin B12 damage your liver?
Some studies have indicated that elevated serum levels of vitamin B12 might be a sign of a serious and life-threatening disease. Such falsely high valued of serum vitamin B12 levels are observed in myeloproliferative disease, acute hepatitis, severe alcoholic liver disease, and cirrhosis.
What happens when your vitamin B12 is low?
Not having enough B12 can lead to anemia, which means your body does not have enough red blood cells to do the job. This can make you feel weak and tired. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to your nerves and can affect memory and thinking.
How can I check my B12 level at home?
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)
How long does it take to recover from B12 deficiency?
Once you begin treating your vitamin B12 deficiency, it can take up to six to 12 months to fully recover.
How long does it take for nerves to heal from B12 deficiency?
Neurologic improvement begins within the first week also and is typically complete in 6 weeks to 3 months.
Can dizziness be a sign of B12 deficiency?
Breathlessness and Dizziness
If you become anemic due to a B12 deficiency, you may feel short of breath and a bit dizzy, especially when you exert yourself. This is because your body lacks the red blood cells it needs to get enough oxygen to your body’s cells.
How much is a B12 blood test?
How Much Does a Vitamin B-12 Test Cost? On MDsave, the cost of a Vitamin B-12 Test ranges from $10 to $57. Those on high deductible health plans or without insurance can save when they buy their procedure upfront through MDsave.
Can low B12 cause weight gain?
People with vitamin B12 deficiency are likely to experience a wide range of symptoms, though weight gain is unlikely one of them. If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain, consider discussing it with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine the root cause.
How long does it take to get B12 levels up?
Recovery from vitamin B12 deficiency takes time and you may not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment. Improvement may be gradual and may continue for up to six to 12 months.