What is Vitamin B12 Test?
Knowing “What is vitamin B12 test” helps before you go for it. This clinical test measures the level of B12 in the blood, which helps to check if there is lack of this essential vitamin in the body. Needless to say, Vitamin B12 is a vital need of the body for cerebral health and cellular activity. It is also responsible for nerve functioning. Lack of Vitamin B12 in regular dietary intakes causes serious ailments such as nerve damage which further results in improper brain functions.
What Makes Vitamin B12 Test Mandatory for You
Those who live on a vegan diet are at a risk of suffering from B12 deficiency because animal products including eggs, fish and meat are rich dietary sources of this vitamin. Though dietary products such as milk and curd provide the body with B12, vegetarians having special medical conditions or those being allergic to certain dairy products are not able to absorb B12. If you belong to either of these categories of vegans or vegetarians, you need to know “What is Vitamin B12.”
If you are affected by pernicious anemia, which leaves the intestines unable to absorb B12 from food, you need a Vitamin B12 test. Celiac disease is another physical condition in which the intestinal lining with villi that help in absorption of nutrients including B12 are damaged. Evidently, Vitamin B12 test is a must for the victims of Vitamin B12. This clinical test is necessary also in case of crohn’s disease, a physical condition related to constant inflammation of the gastronomical tract. Crohn’s disease damages the intestines, thereby preventing the body from absorbing nutrients.
Few medications like anti-diabetic drugs and antacids for acid reflux may affect absorption of B12 into the blood in case of some people. That’s why it is necessary to check the level of B12 deficiency in the body through a test.
A B12 test is essential for breastfeeding mothers. Lack of Vitamin B12 in those mothers may subject their babies to neurological damage which further leads to developmental problems during the growing age.
Some other Reasons to go for Vitamin B12 Test:
- Surgical removal of small intestine or any other part from the stomach
- Bacterial growth in the stomach
- Thinning of the stomach lining
- Excessive alcohol drinking
- Immune system disorders
- Long-term intake of stomach acid reducing medications
How to Prepare for Vitamin B12 Test
Vitamin B12 test is a simple test. You may be instructed to avoid drinking for 8 to 10 hours before the test is conducted. At the same time, it must be ensured that the body is hydrated on the days preceding the test. If you are on some medication or taking certain drugs, make sure to tell the doctor before undergoing the test. You may be advised not to take over-the-counter pills on the day of the test or the day before the test.
Before, During and After Vitamin B12 Test
A sanitized needle is injected into the arm to collect blood from the veins into a tube after the place of injection is cleaned with an antiseptic cotton pad. The procedure is quite painless. However, injection of the needle into the arm may cause a pricking sensation for a while. There may be slight bruising or little soreness on the arm for two or three days following the test. If you ever got bleeding disorder (hemophilia) in the past, let the doctor know about it before a Vitamin B12 test. Otherwise, it may cause excessive bleeding from the place where the skin is punctured to insert the needle. The vein in the arm where the blood is taken from may feel a little inflamed though it is a rare phenomenon. It is called phlebitis. If any of the symptoms of phlebitis like pain or swelling surfaces after the B12 test, make sure to seek a doctor’s help.
Role of Vitamin B12 in Human Health
Knowing the role of Vitamin B12 in our health and wellness helps to understand the importance of a Vitamin B12 test. This vitamin is a vital energy nutrient that powers the body to perform essential functions. It is a consistent need of the human body for blood formation, energy production, DNA synthesis and nutritional absorption. If any of these physical functions is disturbed due to lack of Vitamin B12 in your regular diet, the body feels fatigued and shows debilitating symptoms. It is necessary to have Vitamin B12 foods including milk, cheese, eggs and meat as much as the body needs, and to go for a B12 test if you notice the following symptoms and signs:
Common Symptoms which Signal Vitamin B12 Test
- Lack of energy
- Muscle fatigue
- Physical weakness
- Mental weariness
- Mood swings
- Memory weakness
- Apathy towards physical activities
- Abdominal cramping
Medically Reviewed By