This test measures the level of Vitamin B12 in the blood. B12 is an essential vitamin which is necessary for the formation of healthy red blood cells and proper nerve function. B12 is not produced by the body and must be taken in through a person's diet. Good sources of Vitamin B12 include red meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt and eggs. A deficiency in B12 can cause a condition known as Macrocytic Anemia in which red blood cells are larger than normal. Common causes for Vitamin B12 deficiency are malnutrition, liver disease, alcoholism and malabsorption disorders such as Celiac Disease, Cystic Fibrosis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
A Vitamin B12 test is typically ordered when a person is experiencing common symptoms of deficiency such as diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, pale skin, loss of appetite, rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, tingling or numbness in the extremities. and a sore mouth or tongue. It may also be done to monitor people being treated for deficiency or malabsorption.
B12 is often ordered as a follow up to a Complete Blood Count (CBC) which shows abnormal results for Red Blood Cells (RBC) and Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV). Vitamin B12 is often tested with Folate. Customers who require both may order the Vitamin B12 and Folate Test.
Turnaround time for the Vitamin B12 test is typically 1 business day.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
The Vitamin B12 test prefers a fasting period of 8-12 hours prior to collection. If the customer is unable to fast they must make it known at the time their order is placed. Specimen must be drawn before Schilling test, transfusions or B12 therapy is started.
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