B12 Deficiency Blood Test
How to Get a Blood Test for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Getting a blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system, the production of red blood cells, and DNA synthesis. A deficiency in this vitamin can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, and difficulty thinking or concentrating.
To get a blood test for vitamin B12 deficiency, you should follow these steps:
- Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider: Before you can get a blood test, you will need to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. You can see your primary care physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant.
- Discuss your symptoms: During your appointment, be sure to discuss any symptoms you are experiencing. Your healthcare provider will want to know when your symptoms started, how long they have been going on, and how severe they are.
- Request a vitamin B12 blood test: Let your healthcare provider know that you would like to have a vitamin B12 blood test. This test is usually included in a complete blood count (CBC) panel.
- Fast before the test: Your healthcare provider may ask you to fast for several hours before the blood test. Fasting helps to ensure that the results of the test are accurate.
- Have your blood drawn: When you arrive for your blood test, a healthcare professional will draw a small sample of your blood. This is usually done by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm.
- Wait for the results: Your healthcare provider will review the results of your blood test with you. If your vitamin B12 levels are low, your healthcare provider may recommend supplements or injections to bring your levels back to normal.
In summary, a blood test is the most accurate way to determine if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you are experiencing symptoms of a deficiency, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider and request a vitamin B12 blood test.