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Vitamin B12 Test

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Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that is crucial for brain function, nerve health, the formation of healthy red blood cells, and the creation of DNA. While your body needs B12 to function, it cannot produce it on its own. Therefore, vitamin B12 must be obtained through food and drinks. As vitamin B12 only naturally occurs in meat, fish, and dairy products, people who do not eat enough of these foods may develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. Furthermore, certain health conditions can limit the absorption of B12, causing a deficiency. Detecting and treating a vitamin B12 deficiency before severe symptoms occur is very important. Use this self-test to check your vitamin B12 levels quickly and easily from home.

Test method: Finger prick test

What do we test for?

Vitamin B12
  • Results within 24 hours after arrival at the lab
  • Ordered before 18:00, shipped today
  • Free shipping on every order
  • Results within 24 hours after arrival at the lab
  • Ordered before 18:00, shipped today
  • Free shipping on every order
  • Easy to use from home
  • Professional analysis in a medically certified laboratory
  • Most affordable home test provider
About the test
Symptoms
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Results

About the test

What is a Vitamin B12 Test?

This test measures the amount of active vitamin B12 in your blood. Two different forms of vitamin B12 exist in your body: the active form that can be readily used by your body, and the inactive form that is stored by the body. Many blood tests measure total vitamin B12, meaning both the active and inactive forms. This can be problematic as while an individual’s total vitamin B12 levels may be normal, the active vitamin B12 available to the body may be low. Homed-IQ’s Vitamin B12 Test measures only the active form of the vitamin to give you the most accurate indication of your levels and how it may be impacting your health.

What’s in the test kit?

This test kit contains instructions for use, lancets for collecting a few drops of blood, a blood collection tube, alcohol wipes, band-aids, a protective transport bag and a return envelope to send your sample to our certified laboratory.

What is the Homed-IQ testing process like?

Homed-IQ’s vitamin tests come with everything you need to successfully take a blood sample at home. Simply activate your test and follow the provided instructions to successfully collect the sample and then send it to our certified laboratory using the prepaid shipping label. The results will be available within a few days.

Symptoms

What are the most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Vision problems
  • Mental health problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
  • Nerve problems like numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

What are the most common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency?

  • Lack of B12 in diet: Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by our bodies, meaning it needs to be obtained through food or drinks. Your body stores vitamin B12 for future use, and it can take years before your body uses up its B12 reserves. Vitamin B12 is almost exclusively found in animal products, so people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet should include foods fortified with vitamin B12 in their diet.
  • Pernicious anemia: This rare autoimmune condition is one of the most common causes of a B12 deficiency. During this disease, the immune system attacks the cells in the stomach that produce intrinsic factor, a protein needed for your body to absorb B12. As your body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, anemia occurs.
  • Conditions affecting the stomach or intestines: Crohn’s disease, gastritis, Celiac disease and other stomach or intestinal diseases can affect B12 absorption.
  • Certain medications: some medicines can reduce the amount of vitamin B12 in your body or make existing deficiencies worse. Your doctor should inform you of medications that could affect your vitamin B12 levels.

Results

How soon will I receive the results of this at-home vitamin test?

Once you have taken your blood sample and sent it to our medical partner laboratory, it should take a few working days to receive your test result. As soon as your test kit arrives at the laboratory you will receive a notification by email. Once your test result is ready, you will receive a text message and an email with a link to your result. Homed-IQ aims to keep you well informed throughout the testing process and provide a seamless testing experience.

What do the results of this test mean?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A vitamin B12 level below 145 pmol/L indicates a vitamin B12 deficiency. This can be caused by different factors. If your vitamin B12 is low, see your GP. While some people can take supplements or make changes to their diet to replenish their B12 levels, others may require vitamin B12 injections or have an underlying condition that is causing low B12.

To boost your vitamin B12 through diet, eat more foods that contain it. These foods include:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Beef, chicken, and liver
  • Eggs
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese

Sufficient Vitamin B12

A vitamin B12 level above 145 pmol/L and below 569 pmol/L is sufficient.

Elevated Vitamin B12

A vitamin B12 level above 569 pmol/L is elevated. Elevated vitamin B12 is uncommon as excess B12 is usually removed from the body in urine. Elevated vitamin B12 could be due to:

  • Liver disease (cirrhosis or hepatitis)
  • Kidney failure
  • Myeloproliferative disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Overconsumption of supplements

If your Vitamin B12 is elevated, see your doctor for further advice. High vitamin B12 can be indicative of other illnesses that require immediate attention.

How does it work?

Order your test
After you have placed the order, your test kit will be delivered within a few days in discreet packaging.
Activate and take your sample
After the online activation of the test kit, you can collect the test sample and return it to the lab for analysis.
Receive your test result
A certified laboratory will analyze your test and share it with our medical team, after which you receive the results in your account.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I also test the level of other vitamins or minerals with Homed-IQ?

This test only measures vitamin B12 levels in blood. If you would also like to test for other vitamins or minerals, we recommend Homed-IQ’s Vitamin Deficiency Test. In addition to vitamin B12, this test also measures folic acid and vitamin D levels in the blood. If you would like to gain a more complete picture of your health, consider our Preventive Health Screening.

What are the risks of a vitamin B12 deficiency?

Severe vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological problems, such as vision loss, memory loss, and reduced physical coordination. Furthermore, low B12 can cause anemia and its associated complications.

How long will it take for my vitamin B12 levels to return to normal?

Once you begin treating your vitamin B12 deficiency, it can take six to 12 months for levels to return to normal. You may not see any improvement in the first few months of treatment, but symptoms should gradually decrease.

How much vitamin B12 do you need daily?

The recommended daily vitamin B12 intake for adults is 2.8 micrograms a day.

How do you know if you are deficient in vitamin B12?

Unlike other deficiencies like vitamin D, a lack of vitamin B12 usually causes noticeable symptoms. Untreated, a lack of vitamin B12 can be dangerous and impact the entire body. However, early symptoms could be confused for other conditions or simply tiredness. The only definitive way to know if you are deficient in vitamin B12 is through a test. A blood test is the most common way to check vitamin B12, but it is also possible to use a urine test.

Has this vitamin B12 test been reviewed by a doctor?

All of Homed-IQ’s self-sampling tests are scientifically certified and validated by the laboratory for home use. This means the tests have been checked by our lab to ensure the results of finger prick samples taken at home are as accurate as samples taken in a blood testing center or doctor’s office. It is only legal to sell validated medical tests.

Each sample is processed in a laboratory that is ISO15189 certified, which allows us to guarantee the reliability of the tests.

How reliable is this vitamin B12 test?

The sensitivity and specificity for this blood test is almost 100%. Sensitivity is the ability of a test to correctly identify test users with a disease. Specificity is the ability of a test to correctly identify test users without the disease.

What is the advantage of Homed-IQ’s vitamin tests?

The biggest advantage of testing via Homed-IQ is that you can easily test yourself from home and you will quickly receive a reliable result with a clear explanation of its meaning. This is because Homed-IQ aims to  give everyone a better understanding of their health. With this testing method you will no longer have to visit your doctor and/or a testing center, leaving you time for other things.

Will my health insurer reimburse this vitamin test?

We currently do not have any agreements with health insurers. At Homed-IQ we therefore keep our tests as affordable as possible to give everyone the opportunity to get a better understanding of their health.

Is this vitamin test also useful for vegetarians and vegans?

Yes. When you eat plant-based, it is advisable to keep a close eye on your vitamin levels. This is especially true for vitamin B12, as it is only found in animal products.