Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test
Is it for you?
- You simply want to check you are getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet
- you are experiencing symptoms which you think might be related to vitamin B12 deficiency
- You are vegetarian or vegan and want to check your vitamin B12 level
- You have Crohn's or coeliac disease and want to check you are absorbing vitamin B12
Around 70% of the vitamin B12 in your blood is inactive which means that it isn't available for your body to use. This test measures levels of the biologically-active component of vitamin B12, thought to be the best early indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms usually develop gradually but can worsen if the condition goes untreated. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue and weakness, headaches, feeling faint, pale skin, palpitations and pins and needles. As vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of healthy red blood cells, a deficiency can cause red blood cells to become enlarged (macrocytic) which affects their ability to transport oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B12 is bound to the protein in food and is released by the acid in the stomach during digestion. Once released, it combines with a substance called intrinsic factor before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Pernicious Anaemia (an autoimmune condition) prevents absorption by stopping the production of intrinsic factor and is the leading cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
The human body stores several years' worth of vitamin B12, however, people with pernicious anaemia, vegetarians, vegans as well as people who have recently had gastric bypass surgery are all at a greater risk of deficiency. Even if you get enough vitamin B12 in your diet, if your body doesn't absorb it properly then you can become deficient in vitamin B12. People who may have absorption problems include the elderly, people with low stomach acid (including those taking PPI's) people who drink excessive alcohol, and people with inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn's or Coeliac disease.
of your results
One of our team of doctors will review your results and give you personalised advice based on your medical history, lifestyle and health and fitness goals.
Discover the easy way to track your health through our online portal, my.medichecks.com. View your results with doctor's advice, monitor any changes over time and see the improvements you can make to your health with simple lifestyle changes.
Questions? Let us help
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Trusted by the NHS and private clinics alike, you can be sure of the highest testing standards from our partner laboratories