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, vitamin B12 rich foods, symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, normal levels, preparation, and how to get tested for vitamin B12 blood test.
- Vitamin B12 blood test cost.
- What is vitamin B12?
- Vitamin B12 sources.
- Why is a Vitamin B12 test done?
- Normal levels of vitamin B12
- How is the vitamin B12 test done?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- Are there any risks in the test?
- What are the complications of high and low vitamin B12 levels?
- How to manage the high and low levels of vitamin B12?
- Provider Locations
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 $35 and $58 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days. Doctor consultation is also available for further treatment or any kind of medical advice.
The following table shows the Vitamin B12 test cost at 2 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
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”.
Vitamin B12 foods
Vitamin B12 is the most structurally complex vitamin and is found mostly in animal products. The following are some foods high in vitamin B12 – 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 a 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
The following people who are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency are also recommended to get tested for vitamin B12 levels.
- People above 60 years of age
- Diabetic patients
- People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery
Normal vitamin B12 levels
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 elevated vitamin B12 levels.
How is the vitamin B12 test done?
A vitamin B12 test is a simple test done using the blood sample. During this test, the phlebotomist will put a tight elastic band around the upper arm to make the vein visible and swell with blood. The area to be injected will be cleansed with an antiseptic liquid. Then, he/she will inject the needle into the vein to draw some blood. After removing the needle, he/she will ask you to apply some pressure on the injected area with a cotton ball to stop bleeding. The blood sample collected in a test tube is sent to the lab for further analysis.
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.
Elevated vitamin B12 levels
High vitamin B12 levels could be a sign of
- Liver disease
- Renal failure
- Certain types of leukemia
Low levels of vitamin B12
Low vitamin B12 levels could be a sign of
- Internal parasite
If left untreated, low B12 levels can lead to
- Permanent nerve damage
- Memory loss
- Temporary infertility in women
How to treat high vitamin B12 levels
People with high levels of vitamin B12 should follow an adjusted and proper diet eating fewer animal products like egg, meat, and fish.
How to elevate low vitamin B12 range
Treatment for people with low vitamin B12 levels 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.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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