This test is ideal if you’re feeling tired / weak / brain fog / pins and needles. You may also suffer the following conditions: thyroid, Crohn’s or coeliac disease, all which cause struggle to absorb Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Blood Test
Feeling tired and run down could be a result of a hectic lifestyle, but it can also indicate that you are experiencing low levels of Vitamin B12. A Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to being more tired than usual, feeling irritable or even having palpitations. Symptoms of a Vitamin B12 deficiency may be similar to those that occur with a Vitamin D deficiency, anaemia, thyroid disorder or other disorders.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Blood Test
Vitamin B12 is critical to our wellbeing. It is part of the process that produces red blood cells, helps to maintain the nervous system and transforms food into energy. Vitamin B12 also contributes to regulating the immune system and balancing moods.
Reasons for Vitamin B12 deficiency
A Vitamin B12 deficiency can come about as the result of eating a restricted diet. This can be especially true of an imbalanced vegan or vegetarian diet. This is the case in most people who have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. For other people, a Vitamin B12 deficiency happens because they are unable to absorb Vitamin B12 from the food that they eat or because they take certain medications – like Metformin for diabetes or proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole for indigestion – which reduces absorption of Vitamin B12 when food is in the stomach.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is crucial in the production of red blood cells and so a lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to anaemia, which is associated with tiredness or a lack of energy, breathlessness, headaches and, perhaps, dizziness.
You can be deficient in Vitamin B12 without becoming anaemic, but you may suffer from the effects that a deficiency will have on your nervous and immune systems. You may experience a sore tongue, mouth ulcers, pins and needles, altered vision, memory problems and weak muscles.
Eating More foods rich in Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 only occurs naturally in animal products, such as dairy products, meat, eggs and fish. Vitamin B12 does not occur in plants. The richest Vitamin B12 foods include:
- Liver and organ meats
- Seafood, such as Clams, Oysters, Shellfish
- Lamb and Beef
You may also find Vitamin B12 in certain breakfast cereals that are fortified with the vitamin.
Testing for Vitamin B12
The test can be performed using a small amount of blood from a finger prick which you can do yourself.
How often do I need to get tested for Vitamin B12?
We recommend checking your Vitamin B12 levels annually unless you experience any health changes or commence a weight loss programme which involves a restricted diet.
- Mouth ulcers
- Sore tongue
- Feeling faint
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Pale skin
- Pins and needles sensation
This blood test is to check on:
- Vitamin B12
For best results (if medically suitable) it is advisable to fast (water is allowed) 12 hours prior to the test which needs to be taken first thing in the morning and posted on the same day on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Collection method: Finger prick
Results available: 2-5 days after the sample has reached the laboratory.
Active Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is needed in the production of red blood cells, brain health and to keep nerves healthy and aids in the making of DNA. Low levels may indicate anaemia.