Vitamin B12 test is a blood test ordered by your physician to measure the level of vitamin B12 in the blood. Vitamin B12 is very important for various body functions such as the production of blood cells and the proper functioning of the nerves. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), vitamin B12 deficiency is prevalent in nearly 6% of the people below 60 years of age and 20% of the people above 60 years of age in the U.S. Sometimes, low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to fatal complications. So we recommend you to get tested for a vitamin B12 blood test to know the levels of vitamin B12 in your body.
The article below covers all the significant topics related to vitamin B12 blood test like vitamin B12 test cost, symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, normal levels, preparation, and how to get tested for vitamin B12 blood test.
For our readers, who are more interested in knowing the vitamin B12 test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the vitamin B12 test cost?
Vitamin B12 test cost ranges between $31 and $49 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. To view and compare the cost of vitamin B12 blood test in different labs offered by different providers, click the button below.
Vitamin B12 test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of the vitamin B12 blood test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your plan with the insurance company before getting tested.
Our vitamin B12 testing providers do not accept any health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin i.e. it can dissolve in water and can travel through the blood. This vitamin is very important for maintaining good health as it plays a major role in the production of red blood cells, brain health, and the proper functioning of the nervous system. It also helps in the creation and regulation of DNA. Our human body can store vitamin B12 for up to four years and the excess vitamin is excreted by the kidneys through urine.
Vitamin B12 is also known as “cobalamin”.
Foods that contain vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is the most structurally complex vitamin and is found mostly in animal products such as fish, meat, eggs, beef, pork, ham, lamb, poultry, and dairy products, nutritional yeast products, and fortified cereals.
Why is a vitamin B12 test done?
Vitamin B12 test is done to measure the level of vitamin B12 in the blood. Your physician might order a vitamin B12 blood test if he/she suspects you of not having enough vitamin B12 in the blood. If you have the vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anemic and you will experience the following symptoms.
- Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat
- Pale skin
- Sour tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Nerve problems
- Muscle weakness
- Vision loss or blurry vision
- Memory loss
- Changes in the behavior
- Menstrual problems
- Weight loss
- People above 60 years of age
- Diabetic patients
- People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery
Normal levels of vitamin B12
The normal levels of vitamin B12 range from 200 to 600 pg/ml (picograms per milliliter). People below 150 pg/ml are considered to have low vitamin B12 levels whereas people above 800 pg/ml are considered to have high levels of vitamin B12.
How is the vitamin B12 test done?
It takes less than 10 minutes to perform this test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
There is no special preparation required before the vitamin B12 test. Some physicians might prefer fasting before the test but it is not required. Inform your physician if you take heartburn or diabetes medications as they interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 and may result in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Are there any risks in the test?
There is no possible risk or complication in taking the vitamin B12 blood test. Sometimes, after the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise or redness in the injected area for a very little period.
What are the complications of high and low vitamin B12 levels?
The following are the complications of high and low vitamin B12 levels.
High levels of vitamin B12
High vitamin B12 levels could be a sign of
- Liver disease
- Renal failure
- Certain types of leukemia
Low levels of vitamin B12
- Internal parasite
- Permanent nerve damage
- Memory loss
- Temporary infertility in women
How to manage the high and low levels of vitamin B12?
People with high levels of vitamin B12 should follow an adjusted and proper diet eating fewer animal products like egg, meat, and fish.
Treatment for people with low levels of vitamin B12 might include
- Vitamin B12 injection
- Daily vitamin B12 supplements
- A diet containing vitamin B12 rich foods
Vitamin B12 blood test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the vitamin B12 test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
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